What would happen if Earth became 2º C (4.6º F) warmer.
In 2015, the Paris Agreement declared that the world should try to keep Earth’s warming trend to well below 2°C by 2100. Here’s what would happen if temperatures did increase by 2° C. Sea levels will likely rise by 1.6 feet. Flooding coastlines worldwide. While the amount of fresh water may increase for high latitudes, East Africa, and parts of India and Sahel, subtropical regions may lose nearly one-third of its fresh water.
Making matters worse, heat waves could intensify. Tropical regions may experience heat waves for up to 3 months which will affect the growth of certain staple crops. These areas will likely produce less wheat and corn but slightly more soy and rice.Which could affect overall diets worldwide. Likewise, North Asia may see a boost in soy crops. Growing up to a quarter more soy each year.
For sea life, the situation is more dire. Warmer oceans will do irreversible damage to 99% of coral reefs. As the reefs die off, it will disrupt ecosystems for up to 9 million different species. This scenario was forecasted by the European Geosciences Union in 2016. In 2017, another team of scientists estimated there’s a 95% chance Earth will warm more than 2 ºC by 2100.
Bleak forecasts may not be enough to stop humans from warming Earth. But at least they’re a guide on how to prepare for a frightening future.