If greenhouse gas emissions continue as they are, the average temperature in South America could rise by 4°C – bringing with it more floods and wildfires
The prediction comes from a study by an international group of scientists, including Brazilian researchers. The study was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP via a Thematic Project linked to the National Institute of Science and Technology for Climate Change in Brazil.
‘Already showing signs of climate change’
Lincoln Muniz Alves, a co-author of the article and researcher at Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE), said: “South America and Brazil in particular are already showing signs of climate change, including a rise in surface temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, melting of glaciers in the Andes, and more frequent and intense extreme weather events.
“These variations in the characteristics of the climate are forerunners of what will happen in the decades ahead if the unprecedented rise in greenhouse gas emissions continues.”
The researchers arrived at the projections by analysing the performance of 38 Global Climate Models (GCMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) of the Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change (IPCC). This set of GCMs will lay the groundwork for the production of IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which consists of three Working Group assessments and a Synthesis Report.
The Working Group I’s contribution will focus on the physical science of climate change.
‘This will affect agriculture and hydropower’, explains researcher
Alves further commented: “The projections based on the new Global Climate Models show, depending on the scenario, that southern Amazonia, for example, will have a more intense dry season.”
“The projections point to a significant drop in the relative contribution of some months to annual average rainfall. If there was 10 mm of rain previously in a certain month, the projected volume may now be half that amount.
“This will affect agriculture and hydropower, for example, which base their planning on projected rainfall.”