Feb 29, 2024 - Energy & Environment

Six different countries facing same climate risks

Additional people facing severe drought risk, by temperature increase amount
Data: University of East Anglia; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Sobering research demonstrate how climate change-worsened extremes threaten specific nations.

Why it matters: The analysis in Climatic Change offers fresh insight into risks facing six countries at different levels of warming — Brazil, Ghana, Ethiopia, China, Egypt and India.

  • "Since important decisions about climate change mitigation and adaptation are made at the national scale, national scale outputs are needed for informing policy," lead author Rachel Warren, of the University of East Anglia, said in a statement.

The big picture: Researchers explored crop losses, biodiversity, flooding and drought exposure, and more if the world stays within the 2015 Paris Agreement guardrails — or blows past them.

  • Paris calls for limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels (a goal that's either slipping away fast or already gone, depending on who you ask), with a fallback of under 2°C.

Threat level: At 3°C, over 50% of the agricultural land in each country studied is projected to face severe droughts over one year during a 30-year stretch, a summary notes.

  • But at 1.5°C, "reductions in exposure of agricultural land to severe drought are 61%, 43%, 18%, and 21% lower in Ethiopia, China, Ghana, and India, respectively," the paper states.
  • Other risks are immense too, like biodiversity loss.

The bottom line: These threats aren't isolated. Co-author Jeff Price of UEA notes that while they looked at six countries, "other nations are projected to experience similar issues."

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