Reduced heat exposure by limiting global warming to 1.5 °C

The benefits of limiting global warming to the lower Paris Agreement target of 1.5 °C are substantial with respect to population exposure to heat, and should impel countries to strive towards greater emissions reductions.

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Fig. 1: Across most of Europe the warmest summers occurred in 2003, 2006 or 2010.
Fig. 2: There is a much greater likelihood of, and population exposure to, historically unprecedented warm summers at 2 °C of global warming than 1.5 °C.


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Several authors received funding from the Australian Research Council: A.D.K. and D.J.K (CE110001028), M.G.D. (DE150100456), S.C.L. (DE160100092) and B.J.H. (LP150100062). P.A.S. was supported by the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme funded by BEIS and Defra. We acknowledge the support of the NCI facility in Australia and the World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modelling groups for producing and sharing their model output. For CMIP the US Department of Energy’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provides coordinating support and led development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals. We acknowledge the E-OBS data set from the EU-FP6 project ENSEMBLES ( and the data providers in the ECA&D project (

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A.D.K. conceived the study. A.D.K. and M.G.D. developed the methodology. A.D.K. performed the analysis and led the writing of the paper. All authors contributed to the writing of the paper.

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Correspondence to Andrew D. King.

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Supplementary Information

Supplementary notes S1–S10, Supplementary figures S1–S7, Supplementary tables S1–S3, Supplementary references

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King, A.D., Donat, M.G., Lewis, S.C. et al. Reduced heat exposure by limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. Nature Clim Change 8, 549–551 (2018).

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