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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Study predicts a significantly drier world if global warming reaches 2ºC

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January 1, 2018 University of East Anglia Read full ScienceDaily article here

New research predicts a significantly drier world if global warming reaches 2ºC. Over a quarter of the world’s land could become significantly drier and the change would cause an increased threat of drought and wildfires.

The change would cause an increased threat of drought and wildfires.

But limiting global warming to under 1.5C would dramatically reduce the fraction of the Earth’s surface that undergoes such changes. Areas which would most benefit from keeping warming below 1.5ºC include Central America, Southern Europe, Southern Australia, parts of South East Asia, and Southern Africa.

…Dr Chang-Eui Park….one of the authors of the study, said: “Aridification is a serious threat because it can critically impact areas such as agriculture, water quality, and biodiversity. It can also lead to more droughts and wildfires — similar to those seen raging across California.

“Another way of thinking of the emergence of aridification is a shift to continuous moderate drought conditions, on top of which future year-to-year variability can cause more severe drought.

Chang-Eui Park, et al. Keeping global warming within 1.5 °C constrains emergence of aridification. Nature Climate Change 8, 70–74 (2018). doi:10.1038/s41558-017-0034-4

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