LONDON: The world could avoid much of the damaging effects of climate change this century if greenhouse gas emissions are curbed more sharply, research showed.
The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first comprehensive assessment of the benefits of cutting emissions to keep the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, a level which scientists say would avoid the worst effects of climate change.
It found 20 to 65 percent of the adverse impacts by the end of this century could be avoided.
"Our research clearly identifies the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions - less severe impacts on flooding and crops are two areas of particular benefit," said Nigel Arnell, director of the University of Reading's Walker Institute, which led the study.
In 2010, governments agreed to curb emissions to keep temperatures from rising above 2 degrees C, but current emissions reduction targets are on track to lead to a temperature rise of 4 degrees or more by 2100.
The World Bank has warned more extreme weather will become the "new normal" if global temperature rises by 4 degrees.
Extreme heatwaves could devastate areas from the Middle East to the United States, while sea levels could rise by up to 91 cm, flooding cities in countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh, the bank has said.
It examined a range of emissions-cut scenarios and their impact on factors including flooding, drought, water availability and crop productivity. The strictest scenario kept global temperature rise to 2 degrees C with emissions peaking in 2016 and declining by 5 percent a year to 2050. (QNA)