The Pandemic Didn’t Slow Climate Change. It’s Actually Speeding Up, Experts Warn : NPR

Firefighters tackled a bushfire in Santa Barbara, California last week. Climate-induced droughts make large, devastating fires around the world more likely. Scientists warn that people are on track to cause catastrophic global warming this century. Santa Barbara County, California, Firefighters hide above AP caption

Toggle labeling

Santa Barbara County, California, Fire Department via AP

Firefighters tackled a bushfire in Santa Barbara, California last week. Climate-induced droughts make large, devastating fires around the world more likely. Scientists warn that people are on track to cause catastrophic global warming this century.

Santa Barbara County, California, Fire Department via AP

The average temperature on earth is now consistently 1 degree Celsius hotter than it was at the end of the 19th century, and that temperature will continue towards the critical 1.5 degree Celsius benchmark over the next five years, according to a new report by the World Meteorological Organization climb .

Scientists warn that humans must prevent the average annual global temperature from falling at or above 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to avoid the most catastrophic and long-term effects of climate change. These include massive floods, severe droughts, and runaway ocean warming that fuel tropical storms and lead to the mass extinction of marine species.

The new report from WMO, a United Nations agency, states that global temperatures are accelerating to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The authors of the new report predict that there is a 44% probability that the average annual temperature on earth will temporarily reach 1.5 degrees Celsius over the next five years. That probability has doubled since last year.

“We’re seeing accelerating climate change in our climate,” said Randall Cerveny, a climate researcher at Arizona State University and rapporteur for the World Meteorological Organization, who was not part of the report.

Annual temperatures on Earth fluctuate depending on short-term climate cycles, which means that some years are much hotter than others, even if the general trendline is steadily increasing. As climate change accelerates, it is becoming more and more likely that individual years will reach a warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“We had some hopes that with last year’s COVID scenario, maybe the lack of travel [and] The lack of industry could put the brakes on a bit, “says Cerveny.” But what we are seeing, frankly, is that it is not. “

Youtube

Years of record-breaking heat offer a glimpse into the future. For example, 2020 was one of the hottest years on record. Last year were global temperatures about 1.2 degrees Celsius hotter than the late 1800s, according to the WMO.

Millions of people suffered immensely. The US had a record number of Billion dollar weather disasters, including hurricanes and forest fires. Widespread droughts, floods and heat waves killed people on every continent except Antarctica.

The most recent climate catastrophes underline the extent to which a few degrees of warming can have enormous effects. For example, during the last ice age the earth was only about 6 degrees colder on average than it is today. An increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius “is a very, very, very, very large number,” says Cerveny. “We have to worry about that.”

Roads become rivers: almost 4 million Chinese have been evacuated or displaced by floods

The aim of the Paris Climate Agreement is to keep the rise in global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels and, ideally, to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. These threshold values ​​relate to the temperature on earth over several years. A warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius in a single year would not violate the Paris Agreement.

But with each year of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the more likely humans are causing catastrophic warming. According to the report, there is a 90% chance that one of the next five years will be the warmest year ever.

“It is another wake-up call that the world must step up its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality,” said WMO General Secretary Petteri Taalas in a statement accompanying the report. The Warn the United Nations By the end of 2020, people were well on their way to causing more than 3 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.

How the US could cut climate emissions in half by 2030

If the US keeps new promises to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, it would help limit global warming to some extent, although other countries, including China, would need it too reduce their emissions dramatically over the next 10 years.

In April, the Biden administration promised to cut US emissions in half by 2030 compared to 2005. Most of these cuts would have to come from power generation and transportation, including getting rid of coal-fired power plants and switching to electric cars and trucks. Congress is considering Infrastructure legislation that could help drive these transitions forward.

Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is seeing more pressure to invest in clean energy. A Dutch court on Wednesday ordered shell to cut its carbon emissions faster, despite the company expecting to appeal the decision. And a small activist hedge fund is successful placed At least two new candidates to join Exxon Mobil’s board of directors with the aim of getting the company to take climate change seriously.

Jack

Read Previous

From Immigrant to Startup Success: Marie Berry Exits Her Second Company

Read Next

Russell Westbrook irate after popcorn poured on him by fan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *