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A 2-Degree Rise in Temperature May Cause a Massive Increase in Temperatures Worldwide

First Posted: Jan 21, 2016 08:43 PM EST
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A 2-degree rise in global temperatures may actually cause a massive increase worldwide. Scientists have found that if emissions rates don't change, there could be a jump in temperatures by 2030.

Under a business as usual scenario, the world is not expected to see global average temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial times until the 2040s. However, new research shows that this may not be the case, and temperatures may rise far more quickly than expected.

In this latest study, the researchers found worldwide warming extremes over land generally exceeded the rise in the commonly seen scenario. In fact, it exceeded it in some instances by as much as 6 degrees Celsius.

In addition, the extreme regional warming projected for Alaska, Canada, Norther Europe, Russia and Greenland could have global impacts, accelerating the pace of sea-level rise and increasing the likelihood of methane releases prompted by the melting of ice and permafrost regions.

"The temperature difference between global average temperatures and regional temperature extremes over land not only has direct climate impacts, it also means we may have to reconsider the amount of carbon dioxide we can emit," said Andy Pitman, one of the researchers, in a news release. "For instance, to keep extreme temperature changes over the Mediterranean below a 2-degree Celsius threshold, the cumulative emissions of CO2 would have to be restricted to 600 gigatons rather than the 850 gigatons currently estimated to keep global average temperatures increase below 2 degrees."

In fact, if a 2-degree warming happens worldwide, this would equate to a 3-degree warming in the Mediterranean and anywhere between 5.5 and 8-degree warming for cold extremes over land around the arctic.

The findings reveal the importance of curtailing emissions in order to keep our climate in check.

The findings are published in the journal Nature.

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