Sunday, January 07, 2018

Keep Global Warming Under 1.5C or 'Quarter of Planet Could Become Arid'

A global temperature rise to 2C above pre-industrial levels could see many regions facing an increased threat of drought and wildfires, study suggests.

Aridification is a serious threat – as well as leading to droughts and wildfires it can also have an impact on agriculture, water quality, and biodiversity. (Photograph Credit:  Javier Blasco/EPA) Click to Enlarge.
More than a quarter of the planet’s surface could become significantly drier if global temperatures rise 2C above pre-industrial levels, scientists predict.

The study, which is one of the most detailed assessments to date of future aridity, suggests that many regions could face an increased threat of drought and wildfires.

Drought severity has already increased across the Mediterranean, southern Africa, and the eastern coast of Australia during the 20th century, while semi-arid areas of Mexico, Brazil, southern Africa, and Australia have started turning into desert as the world warms.  The study suggested that equatorial regions and countries at high latitudes could get wetter.

Prof Tim Osborn, also one of the study’s co-authors from UEA, said:  “The areas of the world which would most benefit from keeping warming below 1.5C are parts of south-east Asia, southern Europe, southern Africa, Central America, and southern Australia where more than 20% of the world’s population live today.”

The findings are published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Read more at Keep Global Warming Under 1.5C or 'Quarter of Planet Could Become Arid'

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