Missing 1.5 °C climate goal could double number of people at risk

This article discusses the impact that various temperature increases will have on people, animals, plants, and the planet as a whole.

The number of people facing multiple climate change risks could double if global temperature rises by 2 °C rather than 1.5 °C. That’s according to a team from Austria, the US and the UK.

For a global average temperature rise of 1.5 °C, 16% of the world’s population in 2050 – 1.5 billion people – will have moderate-to-high levels of risk in two or more of the water, energy, and food and environment sectors. At 2 °C this figure nearly doubles to 29% of global population, whilst at 3 °C of warming it rises to half the population, or 4.6 billion people.

“Few studies have consistently investigated so many overlapping climate and development challenges,” said Edward Byers of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria, in a press release. “The research considers both different global mean temperature rises, such as the differences between 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C, and uses new socioeconomic datasets of income levels and inequality, to identify where and to what extent the most vulnerable in society are exposed to these climate-development challenges.”

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