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Climate change and energy

Poor nations will feel climate change before rich ones

A new tool puts numbers to what it will take for nations to notice global warming.

The news:  Nature reports that a model built at Oxford University predicts how much warming will be required at different points around the globe to cause obvious changes due to climate change—like extreme temperatures or heavy rains.

The findings: In large parts of Africa, India, and South America, climate change will start to bite once average global temperatures rise by 1.5 °C. Mid-latitude regions, meanwhile, won’t feel the same impact until the mercury rises by 3 °C.

Why it matters: The nations hit first are also the poorest—and therefore the least able to prepare for the impact of climate change. That’s not a new idea, but the analysis provides a way of forecasting where international attention ought to lie.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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