Climate change may become unstoppable within decades
Climate change may become unstoppable within decades
Image Scientists have said the planet will reach a 'Hothouse' state when temperatures reach 2C above pre-industrial levels
07 August, 2018, 20:36
This is the intention of the worldwide community set out in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.
The research explains that it's not clear if this deal will affect climate change.
"Where such a threshold might be is uncertain, but it could be only decades ahead at a temperature rise of (around) 2C above pre-industrial".
Watch the video below to find out why stopping the planet's temperature rising by 2°C is felt to be so important.
"The impacts of a hothouseearth pathway on human societies would likely be massive, sometimes abrupt, and undoubtedly disruptive".
The scientists who have written the new report, say that, even if countries reduce their carbon emissions to what they agreed in the Paris Agreement, this might not be enough.
"Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if Hothouse Earth becomes the reality".
Scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesstate that the consequences to crossing that threshold would cause a hike of 4-5º Celsius more than pre-industrial times, with sea levels higher by 10 to 60 meters than current levels. "The authors argue that we need to be much more proactive in that regard, not just ending greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible, but also building resilience in the context of complex Earth system processes that we might not fully understand until it is too late".
"What we do not know yet is whether the climate system can be safely "parked" near 2 C above pre-industrial levels, as the Paris Agreement envisages", said Schellnhuber. These feedbacks could turn from being a "friend" that stores carbon to a "foe" that emits it uncontrollably in a warmer world.
"These tipping elements can potentially act like a row of dominoes".
America, Greece and the United Kingdom - just some of the places where wildfires have been burning over the last few weeks.
With Arctic ice and glaciers melting away; increasingly powerful and frequent storms in the Atlantic and Pacific; coral reefs dying from warming oceans; record-setting wildfires in the USA; unprecedented heatwaves in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere-climate researchers have been at the forefront of sounding the alarms about the frightening path humanity is now following.
"Two degrees is right on the border", he said.
A Hothouse Earth would pose "severe risks for health, economies, political stability, and ultimately, the habitability of the planet for humans", the worldwide scientists wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Avoiding a Hothouse Earth would require "deep cuts" in greenhouse gas emissions as well as concerted efforts to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, both by preserving natural carbon sinks and using technology, said the researchers.
Do all scientists agree with what this report says?
An worldwide team of scientists made the claim in a manuscript published Monday by the National Academy of Sciences.
But not everyone agrees with what they've written.
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