Poor countries to bear brunt of climate change despite emitting least CO2

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Poor countries to bear brunt of climate change despite emitting least CO2

Many of the world's poorest countries are expected to experience daily heat extremes due to climate change sooner than wealthier nations - according to research from an international team including the University of East Anglia.

New findings published today in Environmental Research Letters show that the poorest fifth of the will be the first to experience more frequent heat extremes - despite cumulatively emitting the least amounts of CO2.

Countries including those in the Horn of Africa and West Africa are likely to be worst affected.

The study is the first to examine the link between cumulative CO2 emissions and more frequent hot days.

Dr Manoj Joshi from UEA's School of Environmental Sciences said: "Most of the poorest people in the world live in tropical latitudes, while most of the world's wealthiest people live in mid-latitude climates.

"We know that low latitude regions have much less variability in day-to-day temperatures when compared with the mid-latitudes, which means the 'signal' of climate change emerges quite quickly, and because of this, the frequency of extreme hot days increases rapidly too."

Lead author Luke Harrington, a PhD student at the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute (NZCCRI), said: "Previous studies have shown a link between rising global temperatures and increases in the frequency of local heat extremes, while others have shown a clear relationship between the total amount of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere and rising temperatures.

"This study is the first to use climate models to simulate the end-to-end link between cumulative CO2 emissions and people experiencing more frequent hot days."

The team used state-of-the-art to estimate cumulative CO2 emissions and subsequent changes to extreme local daily temperatures over the 20th and 21st century.

An extreme hot day was defined as occurring 0.1 per cent of the time in model simulations of the pre-industrial climate.

Dr Chris Jones from the Met Office Hadley Centre said: "Our results show much fewer cumulative emissions are required for the poorest fifth of the global population to experience a robust increase in the number of extreme hot days, when compared with the wealthiest population quintile."

These results help to clarify how the wealthiest and poorest fractions of the global population will experience different emergent increases in extreme heat with continued .

"We also know the wealthiest countries will be able to cope with the impacts more easily than poorer nations," said Dr Erich Fischer of ETH Zurich.

"What our research shows is that heat extremes do not increase evenly everywhere, but are becoming much more frequent more quickly for countries nearer the equator - these happen to be disproportionately poorer nations, including those in the Horn of Africa and West Africa.

"In fact, this pattern was robust even when we considered future projections of population and income."

Dr Ed Hawkins from the University of Reading said: "Most importantly, this disparity in exposure to more frequent temperature extremes between the global rich and poor only becomes more pronounced as cumulative CO2 emissions continues to rise. This result is yet another piece of evidence demonstrating that limiting cumulative CO2 emissions over the 21st century will help avoid these impacts."


Explore further

A new study puts temperature increases caused by CO2 emissions on the map

More information: 'Poorest countries experience earlier anthropogenic emergence of daily temperature extremes', Environmental Research Letters, May 17, 2016.
Journal information: Environmental Research Letters

Citation: Poor countries to bear brunt of climate change despite emitting least CO2 (2016, May 16) retrieved 24 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-poor-countries-brunt-climate-emitting.html
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May 16, 2016
Sounds like it might be a good idea for people living in those area to explore the idea of underground homes and work areas. Solar panels would probably be able to supply a lot
of the power since they could be up top while the rest of the city is underground and much cooler. They are probably going to have to have a lot of desalination plants on the coasts too as more heat will probably mean even less rain than now which isn't nearly enough as it is.

May 16, 2016
cry me a river

May 16, 2016
"Poor countries", aka countries populated by people less able to compete in the current economical climate will always bear the brunt of whatever environmental calamity is at hand. Fortunately for them, they tend to out reproduce those of us living in "more fortunate" countries somewhere between 5 - 10 to 1. Therefore, in the long run, we are screwed and they will be just fine.

May 17, 2016
Wow, such insightful comments yet again here. I know! -lets hope they blame their former colonial overlords for this and we can just giggle into our martinis as they drown in the Mediterranean on their way out of this hell. Meanwhile might I suggest "Grapes of Wrath" as a fun summer read?

Life underground is just a fine idea come the rainy season. Oh and who exactly is going to sell them solar panels and with what money? All their pocket money will be going to Monsanto for seed and Nestlé for drinking water.

May 17, 2016
It's like a case study into the learned sociopathy of privilege.

May 17, 2016

leetennant 5 /5 (5) 8 hours ago
It's like a case study into the learned sociopathy of privilege.


And PO's funding. Not that there's a difference.

May 19, 2016
The major emitter of so-called "Greenhouse gases" is CHINA. But you'd never know it reading the liberal press. They also have about the worst REAL pollution in the World, in land, water and air, another thing the press avoids talking about.

May 19, 2016
Life underground is just a fine idea come the rainy season.

Whoever came up with this 'life underground' argument should get their IQ checked. If it's 65 it's still way too high.

Hint:
Heat goes along with less water availability (if not outright drought)
Less water availability means less abundant grazing land/cropland (and drinking water)
Neither grazing land nor cropland does well underground (even if you could build the megastructures needed to contain them for an entire population...anyone who thinks this is doable are out of their minds)

The 'move undfeground' idea can only come from someone with the addled brain that thinks water originates at the tap and food grows in supermarkets.

What 'brainstorm' will they come up next? Maybe 'buy more AC units' to make the country cooler?

May 21, 2016
I guess all you guys know everything and now can explain why all the underground areas where people used to live have been found over the years. I never said to try and plant fields under there but since hydroponic gardens are growing all over the world inside of buildings I guess all those people are stupid too right? As far as rainy seasons go there are things such as access tubes that open above any water drainage level. It's not all that hard to waterproof walls either. There are too many of you on here that have WAY too high an opinion of your own knowledge and don't realize other people might just know how to do things you don't.

May 21, 2016
Sure. I'm from Australia where we have "underground" habitations. In arid zones. Where the population is all of 1500. And most food and water is shipped in and everyone is engaged in mining. I'm sorry but "this is a thing that exists somewhere in the world" is about as valid as an argument for this as it is for anything else.

May 22, 2016
@24volts 2.4 billion people in poorer countries (the vast majority live in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa) do not even have access to a toilet and don't have running water in their homes. Numerous villages have only one central access point where water is available and people walk vast distances every day to fill a few containers. If these people cannot even afford clean water how are they supposed to finance underground shelters & hydroponic gardens??? Never mind electricity.

May 22, 2016
The major emitter of so-called "Greenhouse gases" is CHINA. But you'd never know it reading the liberal press. They also have about the worst REAL pollution in the World, in land, water and air, another thing the press avoids talking about.

And so we should....? Invade?

The EU gave them a stern finger waving before the Paris summit.. Perhaps they should have included a stern look too?

May 22, 2016
cry me a river
Hilarious! He has been shown that his claims about farming in Greenland and grapes in Scotland are wrong, he has been shown that his claim there is no farming in Greenland is wrong and there has been farming there for 300 yrs, he has been shown that his favorite scientist admits he knows nothing about climate and so his quotes from him mean nothing, so what does he do? Does he say, oh maybe I should look closer at the evidence? Or maybe look closer at the evidence against? Or step back and consider that maybe climate scientists are right?

No! Instead stop making any argument and sling insults instead.

This is what happens when one allows old age and an unyielding stubbornness to blind you to new knowledge. You turn into a bitter, left behind, old man.

May 22, 2016
Sounds like it might be a good idea for people living in those area to explore the idea of underground homes and work areas.
6-10m (20-30 ft) down, the temperature is close to 9°C (50°F) year-around everywhere.

Solar panels would probably be able to supply a lot of the power since they could be up top while the rest of the city is underground and much cooler.
Seems to me that the temperature differential between surface and near-underground is greater in the tropics, and that this could be harvested for power as well. Both of these resources are more available in the tropics, in fact.

They are probably going to have to have a lot of desalination plants on the coasts too as more heat will probably mean even less rain than now which isn't nearly enough as it is.
Seems that way now, I suppose. I'd say though that using the extra water in temperate growing zones might be more effective, in terms of total edible biomass produced per unit of water, though.

May 22, 2016
Hint:
Heat goes along with less water availability (if not outright drought)
Less water availability means less abundant grazing land/cropland (and drinking water)
Stop right there. Suppose they had enough energy to be able to pay people in temperate zones to grow food for them. Then they can offload food growing to regions where it works better, and those regions can offload energy production to regions where *that* works better.

Exploiting the energy difference between the surface and shallow underground dwellings seems like a viable option in a world where we don't seem to be able to get people to admit they need to slow down CO2 production.

May 22, 2016
"Poor countries to bear brunt of climate change despite emitting least CO2"

Since there's never been a credible link made between CO2 and global temperature, why is this a problem?

May 22, 2016

Heat goes along with less water availability (if not outright drought)


Look who's talking IQ?

California, during an El Nino event (decdal warming of the Pacific, PDO, ENSO) typically experiences wet to very wet seasons as a result.

In other words, warming brings drought relief, not drought.

May 22, 2016
"Poor countries to bear brunt of climate change despite emitting least CO2"

Since there's never been a credible link made between CO2 and global temperature, why is this a problem?


The link between CO2 and temperature is BASIC physics. And I mean BASIC. Like, year 9 level. So maybe you should head back to school for a while.


Heat goes along with less water availability (if not outright drought)


Look who's talking IQ?

California, during an El Nino event (decdal warming of the Pacific, PDO, ENSO) typically experiences wet to very wet seasons as a result.

In other words, warming brings drought relief, not drought.


In California and other parts of the Americas. I know this is a message we need to constantly re-enforce for our American friends. But the US - not the world. In most of the world, the El Nino brings drought. As well as school, I suggest reading something about the rest of the world. That helps too.

May 22, 2016
I suggest reading something about the rest of the world. That helps too.
No question. However, it also requires a certain amount of empathy: one must be able to put oneself into another's shoes, and this is an ability that is often absent in those with sociopathic personality disorders.

It's unfortunate that so many of these individuals are starved for attention in real life and insist upon inflicting their views on science and other technical sites in the hope that someone will pay attention to them despite their extremely antisocial communication traits.

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