Climate Change Impacts

Hurting the most vulnerable

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Science  08 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6393, pp. 1083-1084
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6393.1083-g

The Paris Agreement set a goal of limiting global average anthropogenic climate warming to 1.5°C or less—cooler than the oft-cited target of 2°C that previously had been considered the threshold of dangerous consequences. Is the difference in impacts between the two goals meaningful, and who would be affected most by a failure to stay within the lower limit? King and Harrington find that exceeding the 1.5°C ceiling would affect tropical latitudes—which have a disproportionate share of poor populations—more than higher latitudes. Thus, if ways are not found to meet the global warming targets of the Paris Agreement, then the most vulnerable will experience the greatest consequences.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1029/2018GL078430 (2018).

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