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Reduced greenhouse gas emissions required to avoid dangerous increases in heat stress

use many large cities in the Mediterranean are on the coast," Giorgi said. "This is the first time this amplification signal over coastal areas could be seen and quantified. Coastal regions are particularly vulnerable because they will likely be affected by other important climate change related stresses, such as a rising sea level."

Diffenbaugh said without the high resolution of the climate model, the researchers would not have been able to identify the coastal effects.

"This underscores the importance of advancing our technology and examining a number of scenarios in great detail," he said. "If we want to quantify the risks associated with climate change, it is critical to understand the local and regional impacts as well as the global impacts."

For the study's standard future scenario, the research group used a commonly accepted emissions scenario from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that assumes greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase exponentially. The reduced emissions scenario incorporated a reduction in population growth and greater environmental concern, Diffenbaugh said.

The researchers are currently using the high-resolution model to further evaluate the effects that increased temperatures and surface drying could have on agriculture and energy and water resources.


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Contact: Elizabeth K. Gardner
ekgardner@purdue.edu
765-494-2081
Purdue University
14-Jun-2007


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