New research predicts that over half the world’s major forests will be destroyed if temperatures rise by 3C or more by the end of the century due to climate change. In one of the most comprehensive analysis yet of the potential effects of global warming, scientists from Bristol University in the UK argue that floods, forest fires and droughts will become not only more common but more extreme.

Even if the world stopped emitting greenhouse gases now, the scientists argue that a 2C rise in temperature is inevitable. This would mean that Europe, Asia, Canada, central America and Amazonia could lose up to 30% of its forests. With a 3C rise, loss of forest in Amazonia and Europe, Asia, Canada and central America could reach 60%.

The lead scientist – Dr Scholze argues that this extreme weather will happen much more frequently. “We looked at these extreme events and what we found was that a once-in-a-hundred-year event can become a once-in-a-ten-year event by the end of the century”.

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