Berlin [Germany], October 3 (ANI): A new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has shown that increasing global warming from currently one to two degrees Celsius could mean that around 25 percent more people are at risk from tropical cyclones by the middle of the century will .
Hurricanes and typhoons are currently among the most destructive natural disasters in the world, potentially threatening around 150 million people each year. In addition to climate change, population growth continues to drive exposure to tropical cyclones, particularly in the coastal areas of East African countries and the United States.
Taking into account the combined effects of climate change and population growth offers untapped potential for protecting a changing world population.
“If we add the population growth to global warming of two degrees Celsius, we could even see an increase of around 40 percent more people exposed to cyclones in 2050,” says Tobias Geiger, researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research ( PIK.). ) and the German Weather Service (DWD), first author of the new study published in Nature Climate Change.
“As the world population is expected to peak by the middle of the century, more people will face more powerful cyclones due to climate change – putting these higher populations at greater risk,” he added.
The global ambition is to limit the warming to well below two degrees, but compared to unchecked climate change even reaching two degrees Celsius could lead to a completely different result 50 years later than an interdisciplinary team of scientists from Germany, in Switzerland and the USA determined in a computer-aided analysis: By 2100, population models predict a casual, regularly decreasing population in cyclone-prone areas on a global level.
This would partially compensate for the additional burden of warming, as Geiger emphasized: “If we reduce greenhouse gas emissions quickly and only reach two degrees Celsius of global warming in 2100, this would limit the increase in the number of people at risk from hurricanes to 20 percent.” This finding is critical as it shows that reducing global warming may postpone severe tropical cyclone impacts to the late second half of the century, when far fewer people were at risk. ”In the study, the scientists analyzed the combined effects of demographics and climate change on people exposed to tropical cyclones – and noted that timing when certain levels of warming are reached is critical.
At the country level, the results are even clearer, explained Johannes Gutschow: “Our model shows with unprecedented detail that in 2050 an increase in exposure is forecast in all countries with a high risk of tropical cyclones in some East African countries, up to 100 percent in the United States, and also a steep increase for the Arabian Peninsula. For the US, this will most likely lead to further cyclone damage, while other hard-hit regions of the world could also face more poverty and forced migration compared to the exposed populations in the Caribbean and East Asia, particularly Japan, China and the Korean Peninsula Scenario in which global warming of two degrees would occur as early as 2050.
Johannes Gutschow added: “Basically, our computer model can calculate the impact of any given global and country warming scenario and its impact on the number of people at risk from tropical cyclones. Our results most likely also apply to a variety of other climate extremes, the occurrence of which depends only on absolute warming and not on time) of the Paris Agreement: “The current NDC scenario would mean a warming of about two degrees around the middle of the century and thereafter lead to a continuous rise in warming, “said Katja Frieler, Co-Head of the PIK Research Department on Transformation Paths.
He added, “In line with the NDCs, the number of people at risk from hurricanes would continue to increase over the century, for example in the hurricane-prone regions of the US.” Frieler emphasizes: “Emissions reductions that could bring global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius could cumulatively protect over 1.8 billion people from tropical cyclones by the end of this century, compared to the warming under the currently proposed emissions reductions.
Therefore, according to researchers, it is time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions quickly to protect as many people as possible. (ANI)