SOURCE: Carbon Brief
DATE: June 17, 2019
SNIP: More than half of the world could see new temperature records set in every single year by the end of the century if global warming is not curbed, a study finds.
And new heat records could be set in two-thirds of the world’s least developed countries each year by 2100 under the same scenario, the research adds.
Limiting global warming to below 2C above pre-industrial levels could reduce the extent of land seeing record-setting heat by almost three quarters, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.
The new study, published in Nature Climate Change, explores how often new temperature records are likely to be set in the future across every world region.
The authors used climate models to explore how often new temperature records are likely to be set – and “smashed” – across the globe. They investigated record-setting heat under two possible future scenarios: one with very high greenhouse gas emissions (“RCP8.5”) and one where global warming is limited to below 2C (“RCP2.6”).
The results show that, under the high-emissions scenario, up to 58% of the world could see a new temperature record set in at least one month every year by 2100. If temperature rise is limited to 2C, a smaller 14% of the world would see new record temperatures every year by that time.
One limitation is that climate models are generally better at projecting future temperature averages than future temperature extremes – which are outliers in the data.