At least a quarter of the world’s surface will dry up if the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement are missed.
That’s the suggestion made in a new study published by the UN, which suggests a global temperature rise of 2°C above pre-industrial levels would increase the size of desert areas, lead to more droughts and wildfires and severely affect agriculture.
The organisation says limiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C would help avoid this large scale dry-out across southern Europe, southern Africa, central America, coastal Australia and southeast Asia.
The report claims a rise of 1°C has already occurred, meaning that there is little time to act if the limits set out in international climate obligations are to be adhered to.
The likelihood the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C can be achieved is around two-thirds.