The Inequality of Climate Change From 1.5 to 2°C of Global Warming

Journal: Geophysical Research Letters

Published: 2018-05-28

DOI: 10.1029/2018gl078430

Affiliations: 2

Authors: 2

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Research Highlight

Tropics’ future tethered to warming targets

© Dan Higgins/EyeEm/Getty

© Dan Higgins/EyeEm/Getty

Some of the world’s poorest countries will suffer the worst localized effects of climate change if the globally agreed temperature target is not met.

In 2015, the United Nations set a limit of 1.5°C for the maximum permissible rise in the global temperature above pre-industrialization levels, but some countries will rely on this commitment more than others. Two researchers from the University of Melbourne used climate models to assess how local annual temperature variability under a 1.5°C to 2°C warming scenario compare with annual temperature variability since pre-industrial levels. Their models suggest that the most perceptible change will be in tropical regions, where some of the least developed countries and small island nations are found. While extra-tropical regions will experience similar temperature fluctuations, they are already used to such variability through the year.

More international aid for climate change adaptation will be needed to prevent poverty spreading further in these vulnerable tropical locations.

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  1. Geophysical Research Letters 45, 5030–5033 (2018). doi: 10.1029/2018GL078430
Institutions Share
The University of Melbourne (UniMelb), Australia 0.50
University of Oxford, United Kingdom (UK) 0.50