Risks from climate extremes change differently from 1.5°C to 2.0°C depending on rarity

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have agreed to hold the “increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre‐industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”. Comparison of the costs and benefits for different warming limits requires an understanding of how risks vary between warming limits. As changes in risk are often associated with changes in exposure due to projected changes in local or regional climate extremes, we analyze differences in the risks of extreme daily temperatures and extreme daily precipitation amounts under different warming limits. We show that global warming of 2°C would result in substantially larger changes in the probabilities of the extreme events than global warming of 1.5°C.

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