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A rise in 2 degrees Celsius in global warming could cause droughts

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A rise in 2 degrees Celsius in global warming could cause droughts
A rise in 2 degrees Celsius in global warming could cause droughts. wikimedia commons
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New York, Jan 2, 2018: A rise of just 2 degrees Celsius in global warming could make over a quarter of the world’s land to become drier and more desert like, increasing the threat of widespread drought and wildfires, new research led by one of Indian origin has found.

The study showed that reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere to limit global warming under 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius would dramatically reduce the likelihood of significant aridification emerging in many parts of the world, the researchers said.

Aridity is a measure of the dryness of the land surface, obtained from combining precipitation and evaporation.

“Our research predicts that aridification would emerge over about 20-30 per cent of the world’s land surface by the time the global mean temperature change reaches 2 degrees Celsius,” said Manoj Joshi from the the University of East Anglia’s School of Environmental Sciences.

“But two thirds of the affected regions could avoid significant aridification if warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” Joshi added.

For the findings, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the team examined projections from 27 global climate models to identify the areas of the world where aridity will substantially change when compared to the year-to-year variations they experience now, as global warming reaches 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The world has already warmed by one degree Celsius. As a result, drought severity has been increasing across the Mediterranean, southern Africa, and the eastern coast of Australia over the course of the 20th Century, while semi-arid areas of Mexico, Brazil, southern Africa and Australia have encountered desertification for some time as the world has warmed.

“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,” explained Chang-Eui Park from the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in China. (IANS)

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Plastics Contribute to Global Warming, Scientists Say

A graphic video of doctors pulling a plastic straw out of the bloody nose of a large sea turtle has prompted some U.S. cities and companies to phase out the straws

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Add plastics to the list of causes for global warming.
Add plastics to the list of causes for global warming. (Img: Flickr)

Scientists writing in the journal PLOS One said Wednesday that plastics emit the greenhouse gases methane and ethylene when they are exposed to sunlight and degrade.

The researchers carried out tests on such common plastic products as water bottles, shopping bags and food containers.

“Plastic represents a source of climate-relevant trace gases that is expected to increase as more plastic is produced and accumulated in the environment,” said senior researcher David Karl of the University of Hawaii.

Methane gas, both man-made and naturally occurring, is said to be a major cause of climate change.

plastics
A man collects plastic and other recyclable material from the shores of the Arabian Sea, littered with plastic bags and other garbage, in Mumbai, India, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

The manufacturing and use of plastics have come under scrutiny in recent years after environmentalists discovered a massive island of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean — threatening sea life and the food supply.

Plastic drinking straws are the latest target of activists, who say they are used once and discarded because most cannot be recycled.

Also Read: Prenatal Exposure to Plastic Chemical may Reduce Cognitive Skills

A graphic video of doctors pulling a plastic straw out of the bloody nose of a large sea turtle has prompted some U.S. cities and companies to phase out the straws. (VOA)

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