Comment | Published:

Reduced heat exposure by limiting global warming to 1.5 °C

Nature Climate Changevolume 8pages549551 (2018) | Download Citation

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.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Schleussner, C.-F. et al. Earth Syst. Dynam. 7, 327–351 (2016).

  2. 2.

    King, A. D., Karoly, D. J. & Henley, B. J. Nat. Clim. Change 7, 412–416 (2017).

  3. 3.

    Perkins-Kirkpatrick, S. E. & Gibson, P. B. Sci. Rep. 7, 12256 (2017).

  4. 4.

    King, A. D. & Karoly, D. Environ. Res. Lett. 12, 114031 (2017).

  5. 5.

    Sanderson, B. M. et al. Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss 8, 827–847 (2017).

  6. 6.

    Millar, R. J. et al. Nat. Geosci. 10, 741–747 (2017).

  7. 7.

    Henley, B. J. & King, A. D. Geophys. Res. Lett. 44, 4256–4262 (2017).

  8. 8.

    Mitchell, D. et al. Environ. Res. Lett. 11, 74006 (2016).

  9. 9.

    Hansen, J., Sato, M. & Ruedy, R. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 109, E2415–E2423 (2012).

  10. 10.

    Gasparrini, A. et al. Lancet 386, 369–375 (2015).

  11. 11.

    Barriopedro, D., Fischer, E. M., Luterbacher, J., Trigo, R. M. & García-Herrera, R. Science 332, 220–224 (2011).

  12. 12.

    Russo, S., Sillmann, J. & Fischer, E. M. Environ. Res. Lett. 10, 124003 (2015).

  13. 13.

    Ciavarella, A., Stott, P. & Lowe, J. Nat. Clim. Change 7, 326–330 (2017).

  14. 14.

    Stott, P. A., Stone, D. A. & Allen, M. R. Nature 432, 610–614 (2004).

  15. 15.

    Lehner, F., Deser, C. & Sanderson, B. M. Climatic Change 146, 363–375 (2018).

Download references


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 (

Author information

Author notes

    • Sophie C. Lewis

    Present address: School of Physical Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


  1. ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    • Andrew D. King
    • , Benjamin J. Henley
    •  & David J. Karoly
  2. ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

    • Markus G. Donat
  3. Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

    • Sophie C. Lewis
  4. School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

    • Daniel M. Mitchell
  5. Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK

    • Peter A. Stott
  6. College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

    • Peter A. Stott
  7. Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

    • Erich M. Fischer


  1. Search for Andrew D. King in:

  2. Search for Markus G. Donat in:

  3. Search for Sophie C. Lewis in:

  4. Search for Benjamin J. Henley in:

  5. Search for Daniel M. Mitchell in:

  6. Search for Peter A. Stott in:

  7. Search for Erich M. Fischer in:

  8. Search for David J. Karoly in:


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.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andrew D. King.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

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

About this article

Publication history


Issue Date


Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing