Climate change has become a crucial issue as the temperature is rising day by day and the threat of global warming is growing. It has become essential to limit the temperature with the threshold of 2 °c to avoid the threat of global warming. Scientists, environmentalists, and experts have been asking for various measures to be taken to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Moreover, other measures are taken to limit the temperature within the threshold. The speed at which necessary precautions are taken, it seems that it would take years for the reduction of greenhouse gases. The climate change is impacting various regions of the world and the consequences are fatal. Researchers have found that poorer countries such as Bangladesh and Egypt would suffer more than richer countries. However, they have found a way to quantify inequalities in future.
The annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) took place this month in Vienna. The map of “equivalent impacts” was presented at the meeting. It showed that when the global temperature would rise by 3 °C, then rich countries would feel adverse effects of climate change. However, people from poor countries would suffer from those effects when there is moderate warming. The effects of climate change are uneven, according to the findings. Poor regions in the tropics and subtropics are likely to suffer more for various reasons. One of the reasons includes lack of financial resources to counter changes in temperature and precipitation. In addition, poor countries are likely to suffer from climate change more than countries in mid-latitudes. Scientists are unable to quantify that inequality due to the dependence of impact on various factors such as technological progress and economic growth in the future.
The Paris Climate Agreement, signed by 195 countries in 2015, has an objective to restrict rise in the global mean temperature to 1.5–2 °C above pre-industrial levels. Since 1900, the temperature has been already risen by 1 °C already. The mean of record-dry and record-wet months in each year has increased.
Luke Harrington, a climate researcher at the University of Oxford, U.K., has adopted a different way through the development of a concept of ‘equivalent impacts’. This concept does not take societal consequences into consideration; however, it quantifies the unequal distribution of extreme weather around the globe. Harrington focused on changes in patterns of daily heat and rainfall in the worldwide climate estimations based on rising greenhouse gas emissions. Then, he evaluated how much warming was needed to signal a clear climate change that emerges from natural climate variation at each region in the world. The resulting map indicated how rapidly regional changes in weather conditions will be evident according to different levels of global warming.
“I wanted to wrap numbers around the unevenness of impacts,” said Harrington. “Climate-mitigation policies focus on a global threshold — but the global mean temperature isn’t a very meaningful metric to assess what climate change might mean in specific parts of the world.”
In the regional changes in heat extremes, the pattern is sharp. Regions including Africa, some parts of India, and some parts of South America, will experience changes of climate warming only after an increase of 1.5 °C in global temperature. While the mid-latitude regions will experience changes only after an increase of 3 °C in global temperature.
“Our study provides a framework,” said Harrington. “We want to know what information others care about most, then we can start to look at metrics of more specific climate impacts.”