Extreme weather risk high despite Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement saw nearly all the countries in the world set an aspirational target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Published: 15th February 2018 04:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2018 04:43 PM   |  A+A-

Officials meeting in Peru are working on a pact to curb global warming. Credit Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Representational image. (File | AP)


WASHINGTON: Meeting the Paris Agreement's goal of keeping the global-scale warming this century to less than 2 degrees Celsius could still lead to extreme weather events compared to the present, claims a study.

The Paris Agreement saw nearly all the countries in the world set an aspirational target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

But even if the target was reached, "we still will be living in a climate that has a substantially greater probability of unprecedented events than the one we're in now", said Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Stanford University and the paper's lead author.

The study published in the journal Science Advances showed that meeting the Paris Agreement's goal was likely to reduce the area of the globe that experiences greater than threefold increases in the probability of record-setting events. 

However, even at this reduced level of global warming, the world was still likely to see increases in record-setting events compared to the present.

The researchers found that if countries kept their minimum commitment to limit global warming to 2-3 degrees Celsius, it was still likely to result in a more than fivefold increase in the probability of record-breaking warm nights over approximately 50 per cent of Europe, and more than 25 per cent of East Asia.

A 2-3 degree global warming would also likely result in a greater than three-fold increase in record-breaking wet days over more than 35 per cent of North America, Europe and East Asia, the study said.


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