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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)

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Trump Administration Commits to Make Fossil Fuels Cleaner, Says Energy Secretary

Fossil fuel emissions have been cited by scientists as a major source of global warming

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U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, center, speaks as Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, left, and and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon look on at an energy summit, May 30, 2019, in Salt Lake City. VOA

The Trump administration is committed to making fossil fuels cleaner rather than imposing “draconian” regulations on coal and oil, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Thursday at an energy conference in Salt Lake City.

Perry previously said the administration wants to spend $500 million next year on fossil fuel research and development as demand plummets for coal and surges for natural gas.

“Instead of punishing fuels that produce emissions through regulation, we’re seeking to reduce those emissions by innovation,” Perry said at the conference. Fossil fuel emissions have been cited by scientists as a major source of global warming.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently said the world must change how it fuels factories, vehicles and homes to limit future global warming.

Perry said the Trump administration has proven it can make energy cleaner, but he provided no details involving coal and other fossil fuels, other than the closing of old, inefficient coal-burning power plants and exporting increasing volumes of natural gas, an alternative to coal.

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Protesters gather outside the Utah Governor’s Energy Summit at Grand America Hotel, May 30, 2019, in Salt Lake City. VOA

Department of Energy spokesman Dirk Vande Beek didn’t immediately return an email and voicemail seeking more details about Perry’s claim.

Perry pointed to an overall drop in emissions as proof of progress.

Greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13 percent from 2005 to 2017, according to the most recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Lindsay Beebe of the Sierra Club in Utah said trying to make fossil fuels cleaner is misspent energy.

“I don’t know that it’s possible right now, but what is ready right now are renewables. Wind, solar and geothermal are commercially viable and at scale,” Beebe said.

The summit Thursday was briefly interrupted when 15 protesters took the stage to criticize the administration’s fixation on fossil fuels.

They said the misguided approach ignores climate change. Police then escorted them out.

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About 25 protesters are escorted by police after interrupting a energy summit where U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry spoke, May 30, 2019, in Salt Lake City. Perry says the Trump administration is committed to making fossil fuels cleaner rather than imposing “draconian” regulations on oil, gas and coal. VOA

After they left, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who sponsored the event, said he and other leaders appreciated the “youthful enthusiasm” but their call to immediately discard fossil fuels and shift entirely to renewable energy isn’t realistic.

“They would like us to quit by Friday and not take anything out of the ground,” Herbert said. “That obviously doesn’t work from a practical standpoint.”

ALSO READ: Chinese Scientists Discover CO2 More Efficient to Use in Fracking than Water

Americans burned a record amount of energy in 2018, with a 10% jump in consumption from booming natural gas helping lead the way, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

Fossil fuels in all accounted for 80% of Americans’ energy use. (VOA)