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In 2009, global leaders agreed to try not to let the world warm more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. This is sometimes seen as a rule of thumb for keeping on the right side of climate change, within “safe” territory.
But that’s not at all how scientists meant it, Professor Camille Parmesan, an expert in biodiversity at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom said. Climate risks don’t begin at 2C, she said; it’s more like where they go from high to intolerably high.
The planet has already warmed by about 0.8C (1.7 Fahrenheit) since the late-19th century.
Some of the world’s most iconic places are also the most vulnerable, and they are already feeling the effects.
“We’re already seeing contraction of species in the most sensitive ecosystems, such as those dependent on sea ice or those living on mountain tops,” she said. “We’re also seeing declines…

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