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Extreme weather risk high despite Paris Agreement: Study

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

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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. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Paris Agreement saw nearly all the countries in the world set an aspirational target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius
  • The researchers found that if countries kept their minimum commitment to limit global warming to 2-3 degrees Celsius

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.

Also Read: Climate Change: Earth in Danger

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 percent of Europe, and more than 25 percent of East Asia.

Also Read: Global warming to continue for thousands of years

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 percent of North America, Europe and East Asia, the study said. (IANS)

Next Story

New Method to be Used to Forecast 80% Chance of El Nino by 2020

This week they said their model — which uses an algorithm that draws on analysis of links between changing air temperatures at a network of grid points

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Forecast, El Nino, Weather
FILE - A man walks past the carcasses of sheep that died from the El Nino-related drought in southern Hargeysa, in northern Somalia's semi-autonomous Somaliland region, April 7, 2016. VOA

The complex El Nino weather pattern that can bring disastrous heavy rainfall and long droughts to countries around the Pacific — from Peru to Indonesia and Australia — will probably emerge again in 2020, researchers have predicted. Forecast.

An international team of scientists forecast an 80% chance next year of an El Nino, which occurs when sea-surface temperatures rise substantially above normal in the east-central Equatorial Pacific.

This week they said their model — which uses an algorithm that draws on analysis of links between changing air temperatures at a network of grid points across the Pacific region — could predict an El Nino at least a year ahead.

“Conventional methods are unable to make a reliable ‘El Nino’ forecast more than six months in advance. With our method, we have roughly doubled the previous warning time,” said co-developer Armin Bunde, a physicist at Germany’s Justus Liebig University Giessen.

Forecast, El Nino, Weather
FILE – Ecuadorans look for survivors after a huge mudslide, blamed on heavy El Nino-generated rains, occurred in Bahia de Caraquez (355 km from Quito), April 30, 1998. VOA

The term El Nino, meaning “boy child” in Spanish, was first used in the 19th century by fishermen in Peru and Ecuador to refer to the unusually warm waters that reduced their catch just before Christmas, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The phenomenon occurs every two to seven years and typically lasts for 9 to 12 months, often beginning mid-year and peaking between November and January.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), said insights from the new method — which has been tested over the past few years — would be made available to people affected by El Nino.

PIK researcher Josef Ludescher said he would soon discuss the findings with the weather service in Peru.

Also Read- NASA Probe Provides Insight on Solar System’s Distinct Boundary

Time to prepare

El Nino often brings torrential rains in the north of the mountainous Latin American nation, with a high risk of mudslides, he said.

El Nino also can cause extended droughts in other parts of South America, Indonesia, Australia and Africa, PIK said.

In the Indian subcontinent, it may change monsoon patterns, while California can experience more precipitation.

Forecast, El Nino, Weather
An international team of scientists forecast an 80% chance next year of an El Nino, which occurs when sea-surface temperatures rise substantially above normal. Pixabay

The new prediction method could give more time for authorities to prepare for such impacts, Ludescher added.

The team is now adapting the algorithm to be able to predict the timing and strength of El Nino. In the future, a similar method could be used to improve forecasts of Asia’s monsoon, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

2014, 2018 predictions

The discovery of the new method was first published in 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal — and the scientists have since been checking its accuracy.

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They said this week it correctly predicted the onset of the large El Nino that started in 2014 and ended in 2016 and the most recent event in 2018, as well as absences in other years.

The next expected El Nino, due to peak in late 2020, could push global average annual temperature rise to a new record in 2021, the researchers said.

Air temperature rise lags Pacific warming by about three months, they noted.

According to the WMO, 2016 became the warmest year on record because of the powerful El Nino in 2015-2016, combined with long-term climate change. (VOA)