Article image

Temperature fluctuations to strike the poorest countries the most

Researchers are reporting that the poorest countries will be hit the hardest by larger and more frequent thermal fluctuations triggered by climate change.

The goal of the investigation was to predict how weather extremes such as heat waves and cold snaps may shift with the changing climate. The team analyzed 37 different climate models that were used for the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

According to the study, temperature variability will increase by up to 15 percent in southern Africa and Amazonia for every degree of global warming. In the Sahel, India, and Southeast Asia, this variability will rise by up to 10 percent.

Ironically, many of the wealthier countries that have contributed the most to climate change are predicted to experience a decrease in temperature variability. The experts referred to this trend as an “unfair pattern” that was revealed during their analysis.

“The countries that have contributed least to climate change, and have the least economic potential to cope with the impacts are facing the largest increases in temperature variability,” said lead author Dr. Sebastian Bathiany of Wageningen University.

“The countries affected by this dual challenge of poverty and increasing temperature variability already share half of the world’s population, and population growth rates are particularly large in these countries,” added co-author Tim Lenton, a professor at the at the University of Exeter.

“These increases are bad news for tropical societies and ecosystems that are not adapted to fluctuations outside of the typical range.”

The experts also determined that the increased temperature fluctuations in the tropics will primarily coincide with droughts, worsening the strain on food and water supplies in poorer countries.

The study is published in the journal Science Advances.

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day