Earth Is 1C From Hothouse State That 'Threatens Future Of Humanity'

07 August, 2018, 20:35 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Scientists have said the planet will reach a

They said that "Hothouse Earth" is likely to be risky to many and uncontrollable. The scientists say that if the polar ice continues to melt, forests are cut, and greenhouse gases rise as they have each year the Earth will eventually pass a tipping point.

A study from a team of worldwide climate researches concludes that the planet may be headed toward "Hothouse Earth" conditions- with global temperatures four or five degrees higher than pre-industrial levels and sea levels 30 to 190 feet higher.

But now a report by a group of scientists says keeping global warming to between 1.5-2°C may be more hard than they previously thought.

"The current efforts by nations, which are not sufficient to meet the emission-reduction targets set in the Paris Agreement a few years ago, are unlikely to help us avoid this very risky situation, where many parts of the planet could become uninhabitable for humans", said Professor Steffen from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society.

By the end of the century or maybe even earlier, storms would cause devastation on coastal communities, rivers would overflow, and coral reefs would be eliminated.

Average global temperatures are now 1C above pre-industrial times, a trend that the scientific community has mainly blamed on man-caused climate change. This would cause flooding in the coastal land where hundreds of millions of people live.

Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and fellow co-author, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, said the successive events "may tip the entire earth system into a new mode of operation". Crossing that tipping point "guarantees a climate 4-5 Celsius higher than pre-industrial times" say the scientists.

The planet has already warmed 1 C over pre-industrial times, and is heating up at a rate of 0.17 C per decade.


As Rockström explains, the "tipping elements" examined in the research "can potentially act like a row of dominoes".

Experts also worry about phenomena like wildfires, which will spread as the planet gets hotter and drier and have the potential to accelerate carbon dioxide build-up and global warming.

Dr Rockstrom added that the floods, forest fires and droughts the world sees today would be "small" compared to what would hit us then. Some admit that while the new work is "rather selective" the results of the study aren't "outlandish".

It was a huge worldwide deal back in 2015, where leaders from 195 countries promised to do something about climate change.

Fossil fuels must be replaced with low or zero emissions energy sources, and there should be more strategies for absorbing carbon emissions such as ending deforestation and planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide.

Maximising the chances of avoiding such a "hothouse" state requires more than just reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the report said.

These include permafrost thaw, deforestation, loss of northern hemisphere snow cover, sea ice and polar ice sheets.

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