Climate collapse: The 9 events that are "killing the planet"

Climate collapse: The 9 events that are

Our planet is heading for a climate collapse, and if urgent and drastic measures are not taken to stop it, our civilization will be in grave danger.

A group of researchers has evaluated the situation and affirms that the changes in the terrestrial environmental systems are already irreversible: we are in a state of planetary emergency and many areas of the earth will soon be uninhabitable.

9 events that lead us to collapse

The team, led by Timothy Lenton, professor of climate change and earth sciences at the University of Exeter in south-west England, has identified nine interconnected events that are leading us to collapse.

This includes

  • deforestation in the Amazon,
  • the reduction of Arctic sea ice,
  • the destruction of coral reefs on a large scale,
  • melting of the Greenland ice caps
  • melting ice in West Antarctica
  • the thawing of permafrost,
  • destabilization of boreal forests
  • Rapid ice loss in the Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica
  • The slowdown in ocean currents.

These are events that will have a ripple effect on the climate crisis. For example, the Arctic is warming at least twice as fast as the world average; Melting Arctic sea ice is further contributing to this warming.

In turn, rising temperatures lead to further thawing of permafrost in the Arctic, the soil that normally remains frozen throughout the year and that, when thawing, releases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, which still feeds plus global warming. A true vicious cycle that accelerates climate change more and more.

The idea that sooner or later the earth would reach an irreversible limit is not new and was put forward some 20 years ago by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

At the time, it was thought that the changes would be irreversible if temperatures exceeded 5 ° C compared to those recorded in the pre-industrial era.

Today, data from the latest IPCC reports suggest that the climate is much more sensitive than previously thought and that the irreversible limit could be reached even after a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 ° C.

Global average temperatures are already 1 ° C higher than in the pre-industrial era and continuing to rise: If temperatures rise more than 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels, a devastating domino effect can ensue.

The Paris agreement set the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C, but according to a recent UN report, countries are not doing enough: Maintaining the current rate, temperatures will rise by 3.2 ° C to 2100.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, in 2018 greenhouse gases reached record levels and there are no signs of their decline in the short term.

Act now

The situation is not encouraging: urgent international action is absolutely necessary to reduce emissions, curb rising sea levels and keep warming at 1.5 ° C.

How long do we have to implement these measures and try to save ourselves?

According to scientists, zero.

Article in Portuguese

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