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Study finds India among Top-5 global emitters that could cause extreme climate impact

The top-5 world polluters can influence & heighten the rate of global warming by 2030

A paper published in Communications Earth and Environment reveals that India is among the top 5 emitters of the world and could have a rather heating impact on the environment. The list highlights the economies of China, the United States, the European Union and Russia in the list, stating that these countries will double the number of countries experiencing extreme hot years, alternately by 2030. The concern here is that this phenomenon, under normal circumstances, should occur every 100 years.

Global warming under expert review

A study led by the scientists at ETH Zurich and Climate Analytics has marked global emitters pivotal in driving warming and temperature extremes around the world. Notably, the review takes note of the climate patterns, with respect to emissions from 1991-2030 and 2016-2030 to forecast the greenhouse impact. The countries are expected to contribute around 52% and 53% global emissions during the two tenures, respectively.

Under the current emissions reduction target, 92% of all countries are likely to experience very hot years, every second year by 2030. This figure could just be halved, to around 46% if the 1991-2030 emissions from the top 5 pollutions are not taken into account.

As such, these countries, have a clear doubling impact, the study concluded. Additionally, about 15 per cent of this rise can be attributed to the emissions of these economies between 2016 and 2030 (after the Paris Agreement was signed).

"Our work shows that over a relatively short-time period, the emissions of these five economies will have a strong impact on extreme heat experienced around the globe by 2030. We're talking about annual mean temperatures that would only be experienced once every 100 years in preindustrial times happening every second year", said ETH Zurich researcher Lea Beusch, lead author of the study.

India has the lowest per capita emissions in the list of global top-5

The study further takes note of the per capita emissions of the major emitters to estimate the mean global warming in 2030. According to a hypothesis, if all countries bound by the Paris Agreement had the same projected per capita emissions as the highest emitter US, the mean greenhouse impact would be 0.4 degrees Celsius higher than the currently pledged emission reductions.

If the constant here is replaced with the emission trajectory of India, which has the lowest emissions per capita in the list of top-5, the results would drop by 0.5 degrees. The study comes in the wake of the COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact that requests countries to revisit their 2030 climate targets to align them with the 2015 Paris Agreement temperature goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"Our results underscore that the actions of the world's top emitters will have a huge impact on our global temperature trajectory in this decade. How they respond to the COP26 outcome will be fundamental to whether 1.5 degrees Celsius stays within reach -- none of their targets are currently sufficient", said Alexander Nauels of Climate Analytics, who co-authored the study.

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