Andrew King and colleagues write in The Conversation (16.5.17) that global warming of 2 degrees Celsius, the higher of the two Paris Agreement targets, would see current record-breaking temperatures become the norm in the future, potentially bringing heatwaves to both land and sea.
'Australia is a land of extremes. We’ve experienced all manner of climate extremes over the past few years, from heatwaves (both on land and over the Great Barrier Reef), to droughts and flooding rains.
'We can already link some of these recent extreme events to climate change. But for others, the link is less clear.
'So far we have had about 1℃ of global warming above the average pre-industrial climate. So how will extreme weather events change with more warming in the future? Will they become more frequent? Will they become more severe?
'... It is clear that Australia is going to suffer from more frequent and more intense climate extremes as the world warms towards (and very likely beyond) the levels described in the Paris Agreement.
'If we miss these targets, the warming will continue and the extremes we experience in Australia are going to be even worse.'