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Most countries may see annual heat extremes every second year — study

By AFP - Feb 27,2022 - Last updated at Feb 27,2022

PARIS — Almost every country on Earth could experience extremely hot years every other year by 2030, according to recent research highlighting the outsized contribution of emissions from the world’s major polluters.

The modelling study combined data on historical emissions and pledges made before the COP26 climate summit for cuts from the top five emitters — China, the US, the European Union, India and Russia — to make regional warming predictions by 2030. 

The researchers found that 92 per cent of 165 countries studied are expected to experience extremely hot annual temperatures, defined as a once-in-one-hundred-year hot year in the pre-industrial era, every two years. 

Alexander Nauels of Climate Analytics, who co-authored the study published in the journal Communications Earth and Environment, said that in itself was “very striking”. 

“It just really shows the urgency and how we’re heading into a world that is just so much hotter for everybody,” he told AFP. 

To look at the scale of the contribution from the world’s five biggest emitters to this prediction, the authors looked at what the picture would be without their emissions since 1991, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) first warned governments of human-made climate change.

They found that the proportion of countries affected by extreme hot years would shrink to around 46 per cent. 

Lead author Lea Beusch, of the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zurich university, said the study found “a clear imprint” of the actions of top emitters on the regional scale.

“This is I think very important, because we usually talk about these abstract quantities of emissions, or global temperatures, which we know about, but we can’t really feel,” she said.

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