Monday, May 15, 2017

‘Alarming': Keeping warming to 1.5 degrees to shield Australia from big extremes

Australia will endure more heatwaves, droughts and coral bleaching at 1.5 degrees of warming but the extremes will be considerably less than if global temperatures increase by 2 degrees, new research shows.
In some of the first research on the impacts for Australia of the 1.5 degree to 2 degree range agreed at the Paris climate summit in 2015, Melbourne University scientists have found the chances of a repeat of events such as the "angry summer" of 2012-13 are significantly reduced at the lower end of the warming scale.

That summer, which remains the country's hottest, was already about 10 times more likely than without the 1 degree of warming already experienced since pre-industrial times, said Dr Andrew King, a Melbourne University climate scientist and lead author of the paper published in Nature Climate Change.

At warming of 1.5 degrees, the odds of such a summer with its heat extremes and bush fire-conducive weather increases from about 44 per cent now to 57 per cent. The chance rises to 77 per cent in a 2-degree warmer world, the researchers found.


Read Peter Hannam’s story in today’s Melbourne Age - “‘Alarming': Keeping warming to 1.5 degrees to shield Australia from big extremes.”

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