Study: Quarter of world’s population could face permanent drought if Paris deal goals aren’t met
More than one-quarter of the world’s population could live in a state of drought by 2050 if the goals of the Paris climate agreement are not met, according to a new study.
The study, in the journal Nature Climate Change, finds that if the Earth’s temperature goes up by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, more than 25 percent of the world’s population would live in a state of drought, The Washington Examiner reported.
“Our research predicts that aridification would emerge over about 20-30 percent of the world’s land surface by the time the global mean temperature change reaches 2ºC,” said Manoj Joshi, lead researcher from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.
“But two-thirds of the affected regions could avoid significant aridification if warming is limited to 1.5ºC.”
The Paris climate agreement has a goal of making sure global average temperatures don’t rise 2 degrees Celsius.
Su-Jong Jeong, from China’s Southern University of Science and Technology, and a participant in the study, said that the world has already warmed by 1 degree Celsius.
“But by reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere in order to keep global warming under 1.5ºC or 2ºC could reduce the likelihood of significant aridification emerging in many parts of the world,” Su-Jong Jeong said.
President Trump last year announced the US was withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. He said at the time that the deal was “unfair at the highest level to the United States.”
He cast the decision as one that puts the United States first. The U.S. is now the only country not part of the accord.
In response to Trump pulling out of the deal, a number of states and cities announced their intention to honor the guidelines in the agreement independently.
Last week, Trump tweeted that the U.S. “could use” some global warming as record-breaking cold weather blanketed much of the country.
“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!” Trump tweeted.
Trump in the past has expressed skepticism about global warming.