Randolph E. Schmid
Associated Press
February 25, 2009

The Earth won’t have to warm up as much as had been thought to cause serious consequences of global warming, including more extreme weather and increasing threats to plants and animals, says an international team of climate experts.

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that the risk of increased severe weather would rise with a global average temperature increase of between 1.8 degrees and 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above 1990 levels. The National Climatic Data Center currently reports that global temperatures have risen 0.22 degrees since 1990.

Now, researchers report that “increases in drought, heat waves and floods are projected in many regions and would have adverse impacts, including increased water stress, wildfire frequency and flood risks starting at less than (1.8 degrees) of additional warming above 1990 levels.”

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