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Drylands might face more severe threat than humid areas: paper

Xinhua, April 25, 2017 Adjust font size:

Global drylands might be facing a more severe threat than humid lands if the Paris Agreement is not implemented, a research paper has shown.

Drylands will suffer from disproportionate climate disasters despite their relatively insignificant greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to humid areas, according to the peer-reviewed paper "Potential threats over drylands behind 2 degrees Celsius global warming target" by Huang Jianping, a professor with northwest China's Lanzhou University, and his collaborators.

In order to prevent disastrous effects over drylands, it is necessary to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius on the basis of the implementation of 2 degrees Celsius global warming target proposed in the Paris Agreement, according to the paper.

The Paris Agreement was agreed by 195 member economies that attended the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. The agreement seeks to contain the rise in global average temperatures to under 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels by the end of the century and strive for 1.5 degrees if possible.

However, this new research finds that the 2 degrees Celsius global warming target is acceptable only for humid areas, whereas drylands will bear greater warming risks.

The international community should pay attention to the inequality of climate change risks and responsibility in different regions as well as the climate change process in undeveloped drylands, according to the paper.

The paper was published Monday in the Nature Climate Change journal online. Endi