New research published in Nature Climate Change shows how reducing carbon emissions can prevent billions of people from being exposed to unheard of changes in climate in the coming decades.

University of Wellington in New Zealand found that new climates are emerging faster in inhabited areas, especially in the tropics, than in the world as a whole.

‘People living in tropical regions, such as the South East Asian nations and the Pacific Islands, are almost certain to experience “unfamiliar” or even “unknown” climates by the end of this century if climate change is not slowed down,’ said lead author Professor Dave Frame from Victoria University of Wellington.

The researchers said avoiding the emergence of unfamiliar or unknown climates helps societies to better adapt to climate change. Co-author Dr Manoj Joshi of the University of East Anglia said the emerging effects of climate change in the coming decades could be dramatically reduced through mitigation.