Experts have Issued a Serious Warning about Climate Change

Experts have Issued a Serious Warning about Climate Change

The effects of climate change might appear well before the expected time.

Climate change is probably one of the biggest challenges humanity faces in this modern world. A lot of human activities are playing an active role in this devastating change. The term ‘Global Warming’ is used to refer to these human-induced changes. The situation has gone from bad to worse in the past few decades and scientists fear that Earth might become too hostile for human survival if immediate measures are not taken. Therefore, global efforts are needed to ensure a safe planet for our future generations and the Paris Agreement was a vital step in that regard.

The human activities which affect the climate are called ‘Anthropogenic Factors’. The most harmful factor among all is the increment in the levels of Carbon Dioxide. The combustion of fossil fuels is the largest contributor in this regard. In addition to that, ozone depletion, deforestation, and aerosols are also critical. Climatologists continuously monitor the changes in climate and the impact of human actions on it. The United States National Research Council unanimously accepted that human activities have a massive role in this rapid climate change. They announced their findings in the following words:

The scientific consensus on climate change is that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities and it is largely irreversible. There is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities. While much remains to be learned, the core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations.

Despite all the warnings, humanity has hardly tried to preserve the environment. A recent report suggests that it’s high time to improve our ways before it is too late and catastrophe may become inevitable. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of UN mentioned that we are on the verge of a serious calamity and the clock is ticking much quicker than previously anticipated. IPCC found that some of the most severe climate change scenarios could be felt decades earlier than expected as they covered more than 6,000 scientific references. Debra Roberts, a Co-chair of the IPCC, stressed the severity of the situation in the following words:

The next few years are probably the most important in our history.”

The Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015 by a lot of industrialized countries of the world, revolved around the idea of preventing 2o C warming from the preindustrial times. This has always been the limit after which the most dangerous effects of climate change will start to appear including destructive wildfires, coastal flooding, mass destruction of coral reefs, and widespread food shortages. Having said that, the IPCC report shows that these previous estimates were too conservative. According to the latest report, things could go incredibly wrong if the world warms by just 1.5o C. Jennifer Morgan, the Executive Director of Greenpeace International summed up the situation beautifully by saying,

1.5 degrees is the new 2 degrees.”

More than 90% of the authors agreed that the world will reach the threshold of 1.5o C by as early as 2040. As a result, we are left with nearly 20 years to avoid a scenario which was decades away in the previous research. In these circumstances, the worst case scenario of the past might become one of our best chances of survival. However, achieving these results will require immediate and drastic steps on an international scale which seems quite difficult in the current situation. Jim Skea, an Expert in Sustainable Energy at the Imperial College of London who is also a Co-chair at the IPCC, acknowledged that and said,

Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes.”

The authors of the report clarified that a reduction of 45% must be done in the 2010 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Similarly, these emissions should be reduced by 100% (by 2050) to preserve our planet. As of now, the chances of fulfilling these targets are extremely bleak. Researchers of this report mentioned that the attitude of a lot of nations, particularly the United States, doesn’t offer much promise. Having said that, they concluded that they have done their bit and it is now up to the governments to act on it. Skea said,

Frankly, we’ve delivered a message to the governments. It’s now their responsibility … to decide whether they can act on it.”

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