Climate scientists have shown that the early mitigation needed to limit eventual warming below potentially dangerous levels has a climate ‘payback’ much earlier than previously thought. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, investigates how quickly benefits of mitigation could be realised through any reduction in the occurrence of extreme seasonal temperatures over land. The team focused on model results from future scenarios of a rapidly-warming world: one without any action to reduce emissions; and one where emissions are reduced enough to keep long-term global warming below 2 °C above pre-industrial times. The research team, led by the Met Office Hadley Centre, discovered that it takes less than 20 years in many regions for the risk of extreme seasonal temperatures (one-in-ten-year extreme heat events) to halve following the start of aggressive emissions reductions.
From University of Exeter Photo Credit John Vlahakis