Tue 2 Jan ‘18 15.51 GMT
More than a quarter of the planet’s surface could become significantly drier if global temperatures rise 2C above pre-industrial levels, scientists predict.
The study, which is one of the most detailed assessments to date of future aridity, suggests that many regions could face an increased threat of drought and wildfires.
Limiting global warming to under 1.5C would avoid extreme changes for two-thirds of these areas, the study suggested.
Chang-Eui Park, the first author from the Southern University of Science and Technology (Sustech) in Shenzhen China, said: “Aridification is a serious threat because it can critically impact areas such as agriculture, water quality, and biodiversity. It can also lead to more droughts and wildfires similar to those seen raging across California.”