Friday, January 22, 2016

How a 2°C Rise Means Even Higher Temperatures Where We Live

The increase in regional average temperatures around the world when global average temperatures reach 2°C above pre-industrial levels. (Credit: From authors' Nature paper, Allowable CO2 emissions based on regional and impact-related climate targets) Click to Enlarge.
Regions around the Arctic may have passed a 2°C temperature rise as far back as 2000, and, if emissions rates don't change, areas around the Mediterranean, central Brazil, and the contiguous United States could see 2°C of warming by 2030.

This is despite the fact that under a business as usual scenario the world is not expected to see global average temperatures rise by 2°C compared to preindustrial times until the 2040s.

New research published in Nature led by Prof Sonia Seneviratne from ETH Zurich with researchers from Australia's ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCSS) has quantified the change in regional extremes in a world where global average temperatures have risen by 2°C.

The research shows worldwide warming extremes over land generally exceed the rise in this scenario, in some cases by as much as 6°C.  "We even see starkly different rates of extreme warming over land even when global average temperatures reach just 1.5°C, which is the limit to the rate of warming agreed to at the Paris talks," said lead author Prof Seneviratne.

"At 1.5°C we would still see temperature extremes in the Arctic rise by 4.4°C and a 2.2°C warming of extremes around the Mediterranean basin."

The extreme regional warming projected for Alaska, Canada, Northern Europe, Russia, and Greenland could have global impacts, accelerating the pace of sea-level rise and increasing the likelihood of methane releases prompted by the melting of ice and permafrost regions.

Read more at How a 2°C Rise Means Even Higher Temperatures Where We Live

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