Alarming Projections: 90% of Himalayan Region Faces Prolonged Drought at 3°C Warming, Study Warns

New research reveals that a staggering 90% of the Himalayan Region could be plagued by droughts lasting over a year if global warming reaches 3 degrees Celsius. Published in Climatic Change, the study emphasizes the critical impact of adhering to the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals, showing that 80% of increased human exposure to heat stress in India can be averted by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius instead of 3 degrees Celsius. Led by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA), the study encompasses findings from six countries, including India, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Ghana. It underscores the escalating risks of drought, flooding, crop yield declines, and biodiversity loss with each additional degree of global warming, urging immediate and concerted efforts to mitigate climate change.

The study also stresses the importance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to act as a refuge for biodiversity, reduce agricultural land exposure to severe droughts, and minimize economic damages from flooding. Despite the alarming projections, the researchers note that current global policies may lead to 3 degrees Celsius of global warming, necessitating urgent action to align policies with the Paris Agreement and mitigate the escalating risks to both human and natural systems. The research emphasizes the need for increased focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation, particularly in developing countries vulnerable to the profound impacts of climate change.

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