Aug. 8 (UPI) -- To avoid extreme precipitation events, scientists in China suggest limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, not 2 degrees.
"As the climate warms, both the mean state and the variability of extreme precipitation are projected to increase, inducing more intense and dangerous extreme events," Tianjun Zhou, climate scientist at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in a news release.
New climate models showed limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, instead of 2 degrees, reduced the likelihood of 10-year and 20-year precipitation events between 20 and 40 percent.
Zhou and his colleagues looked specifically at how different levels of warming would impact precipitation risks in the global monsoon region -- a region extending north and south of the equator, home to almost two-thirds of the planet's population.
Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would be most beneficial to the millions of people living in the global monsoon region, where extreme precipitation events can trigger catastrophic flooding, landslides and debris flows.
"Among the global land monsoon regions, the most affected sub-regions, the South African and South Asian monsoon regions, are already among the most vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change," Zhou said. "Our results call attention to more effective adaption activities in these sensitivity regions."
Researchers published their analysis this week in the journal Nature Communications.