According to a new study, more than one-quarter of the world’s population could live in a state of drought by 2050 if the goals of the Paris climate accord are not reached.
Published in the journal, Nature Climate Change, the study theorizes that if the Earth’s temperature rises by two degrees Celsius by 2050, drought would ensue for more than 25 percent of the world’s population.
“Our research predicts that aridification would emerge over about 20 to 30 percent of the world’s land surface by the time the global mean temperature change reaches 2ºC,” said Manoj Joshi, lead researcher from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.
Joshi added, “But two-thirds of the affected regions could avoid significant aridification if warming is limited to 1.5ºC.”
By calling on countries to reduce greenhouse gases from fossil fuel use, the Paris climate accord seeks to limit the rise of average temperatures across the globe to less than two degrees Celsius.
“The world has already warmed by 1ºC.,” said Su-Jong Jeong from China’s Southern University of Science and Technology, and a participant in the study. Jeong noted that reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere in order to keep global warming under 1.5ºC or 2ºC could limit “the likelihood of significant aridification emerging in many parts of the world,” the Washington Examiner reported.
In 2017, President Donald Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, noting that the agreement was “unfair at the highest level to the United States.”
In response to Trump’s decision, a number of U.S. states and cities declared their intention to honor the directives in the agreement independently.
Last week, Trump tweeted that the U.S. “could use” some global warming to raise the bitter cold temperatures that have blanketed much of the country recently.
“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!” Trump tweeted.
In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017