In a study published in the journal Science, researchers have found that children born today will be hit much harder by extreme climate events than today’s adults.
During his or her lifetime, a child born in 2021 is likely to experience on average twice as many wildfires. Two to three times more droughts, more river floods, and crop failures. Also, about seven times more heatwaves compared to a person who is 60 years old today, the researchers have found.
The study is based on data from the Inter-sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP). This is a community-driven climate-impacts modeling initiative that assesses the differential impacts of climate change. They used ISIMIP data alongside country-scale. Life-expectancy data, population data, and temperature trajectories from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
A press release issued by the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said that under a scenario of current “insufficient” climate policies, dangerous extreme heatwave events. It affects about 15% of the global land area today, could treble to 46% by the end of this century. However, if countries are able to follow through with their climate policies as decided under the Paris Climate Agreement.
In terms of experiencing droughts, heatwaves, river floods, and crop failures. People under the age of 40 today will live what the researchers call “an unprecedented life”.
The release quoted Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research scientist Katja Frieler. They are coordinating ISIMIP and is a co-author of the study. “The good news: we can indeed take much of the climate burden from our childrens’ shoulders if we limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by phasing out fossil fuel use. If we increase climate protection from current emission reduction pledges. Also get in line with a 1.5-degree target, we will reduce young people’s potential exposure to extreme events on average by 24% globally. For North America, it’s -26%, for Europe and Central Asia -28%, and in the Middle East and North Africa even -39%. This is a huge opportunity.”
Stay tuned with Artifex.News for further updates.
Image Credit: Wikipedia