Even in best case, ex­treme weather could rise

Chicago Sun-Times - - WORLD - Doyle Rice USA TO­DAY

The land­mark Paris Agree­ment, signed by nearly ev­ery na­tion on Earth ex­cept the U. S., aims to keep the world’s tem­per­a­ture from ris­ing to dan­ger­ous, cli­mate- shift­ing lev­els of 2 de­grees Cel­sius above pre- in­dus­trial lev­els.

Now, a new study finds that even the best- case sce­nario of “only” a 1de­gree rise could in­crease the like­li­hood of ex­treme weather — in­clud­ing floods, droughts and heat waves — in the U. S. and around the world.

The fre­quency of ex­treme cli­mate and weather events al­ready is in­creas­ing, and many ex­perts say man­made cli­mate change is an im­por­tant fac­tor.

“Dam­ages from ex­treme weather and cli­mate events have been in­creas­ing, and 2017 was the costli­est year on record,” said study lead au­thor Noah Dif­f­en­baugh of Stan­ford Univer­sity. “These ris­ing costs are one of many signs that we are not pre­pared for to­day’s cli­mate, let alone for an­other de­gree of global warm­ing.”

Keeping the world’s tem­per­a­ture to a 1- de­gree Cel­sius ( 1.8 de­grees Fahren­heit) rise is in­for­mally known as an “as­pi­ra­tional” tar­get of the Paris Agree­ment, com­pared with the ac­tual com­mit­ment of a 2- de­gree Cel­sius ( 3.6 de­grees Fahren­heit) rise.

The re­search ap­peared Wed­nes­day in Science Ad­vances, a pub­li­ca­tion of the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion for the Ad­vance­ment of Science.


A per­son walks through a flooded street with a dog after the area was in­un­dated with flood­ing from Hur­ri­cane Har­vey on Au­gust 28, 2017 in Hous­ton, Texas.

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