It’s no surprise that not everyone on the planet is equally responsible for the effects of climate change. For instance, the Northern Hemisphere, which is home to 13 of the 15 largest countries by GDP, emits far more greenhouse gases than the Southern Hemisphere does. But the whole planet heats up as a result.
Now, according to a study recently published in Science Advances, scientists has gone further in examining what’s being referred to as climate-related inequality. They have found that tropical countries, which tend to be poorer and to have contributed less to climate change, will experience the most dramatic variations in temperature over the next 80 years.
The research team examined dozens of global climate change models, averaged the findings, and identified the areas where it appeared temperatures would fluctuate wildly. Areas around South America’s Amazon rainforest, in southern Africa, the Arctic coast, and subtropical areas in the Northern Hemisphere are in line for volatile weather. The most at-risk hotspots for temperature variability are along the Amazon.
On the other hand, industrial regions (like the United States and China), which are most to blame for climate change, will experience relatively stable temperatures over those same 80 years. The study predicted that temperature variability will actually decrease for those outside tropical regions.
The U.N.’s climate chief recently said that the current level of global climate investment is akin to “walking into a Category 5 hurricane protected by only an umbrella.” The vast gap between the support that’s needed and support that’s received needs to be closed. That Category 5 is closing in.
Photo, posted June 7, 2012, courtesy of Global Water Forum via Flickr.