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More than half the world could see ‘record-setting heat’ every year by 2100

More than half the world could see ‘record-setting heat’ every year by 2100

More than half of the world could see new temperature records set in every single year by the end of the century if global warming is not curbed, a study finds.

And new heat records could be set in two-thirds of the world’s least developed countries each year by 2100 under the same scenario, the research adds.

Limiting global warming to below 2C above pre-industrial levels could reduce the extent of land seeing record-setting heat by almost three quarters, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.

The research “nicely illustrates the pace of change”, another scientist tells Carbon Brief. However, it is worth noting that there are limitations to using climate models to project future temperature extremes, he adds.

Heating up

Climate change is causing unprecedented heat extremes worldwide. The past four yearshave been the warmest on record – with 2016 being the hottest year ever recorded.

In 2016, temperatures at the Mitribah weather station in Kuwait reached 53.9C – the highest ever seen in Asia, according to a recent study.

Glossary RCP2.6: The RCPs (Representative Concentration Pathways) are scenarios of future concentrations of greenhouse gases and other forcings. RCP2.6 (also sometimes referred to as “RCP3-PD”) is a “peak and decline” scenario where stringent mitigation… Read More

During last summer’s northern-hemisphere heatwave, temperature records were broken in cities across the world, including Belfast, Montreal, Denver and Kumagaya in Japan. The world also saw its highest ever “minimum” temperature, when a city in Omanexperienced a 24-hour period where temperatures did not drop below 42.6C.

The new study, published in Nature Climate Change, explores how often new temperature records are likely to be set in the future across every world region. Lead author Dr Scott Power, head of climate research at the Australian government’s Bureau of Meteorology, explains to Carbon Brief:

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