Even in best case, extreme weather could rise
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.