By What Year Will Climate Change Be Irreversible

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By What Year Will Climate Change Be Irreversible – Current levels of warming will put the Earth at risk of crossing six “dangerous” climate zones, according to a new analysis.

Exceeding these thresholds can disrupt Earth’s systems and lead to ice collapse and loss of coral reefs.

By What Year Will Climate Change Be Irreversible

By What Year Will Climate Change Be Irreversible

The study, based on data published since 2008, found that at current levels of global warming the world is already at risk of causing six critical climate change points, with the risk increasing for every tenth of a temperature increase.

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The Climate Action Tracker estimates that even in a promising scenario, if current global climate goals are not met, the world will experience an average warming of 1.8 C.

The idea of ​​”climate buffer zones” was first introduced by the UN’s climate science group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), two decades ago.

If they collide they could cause major changes in the way the Earth’s systems work, affecting oceans, climate and chemical processes, which may be “irreversible”, according to the UN.

Once the critical point is exceeded – or “tips over” – the collapse of the system is self-sustaining, so it will continue even if there is no further warming.

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At the time it was thought that the points would only be cut if the global temperature rose above 5°C.

Lead author David Armstrong McKay, of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, University of Exeter and the World Commission, said some of the damage that preceded the system’s failure had already begun to be seen in temperate regions.

By What Year Will Climate Change Be Irreversible

Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice six times faster than in the past 30 years, and Greenland’s ice has been shrinking steadily for the past 25 years due to climate change, according to the UN.

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Although some “relief points”, such as dieback in the Amazon rainforest, are not expected to start unless the global temperature rises by 3.5°C, all these programs are connected. So if one system starts to fail, it may increase the likelihood that others will fail.

Co-author Ricarda Winkelmann, a researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a member of the Earth Commission, said: “It is important to highlight that many tipping points in the Earth’s system are interconnected, making tipping points a major problem. more anxiety.

For example, if there are fewer or fewer glaciers and sea ice, less energy from the sun is produced, causing global warming.

In addition to identifying these major risks, the team also suggested that the list of possible points could be increased from nine to sixteen.

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The team worked with paleoclimatic data (weather conditions from thousands of years ago), current observations and results from climate models to create these new indicators.

But some previously considered turning points, for example the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), have been removed due to lack of evidence. On October 31, world leaders will arrive in Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, in a last-ditch effort to mitigate the climate emergency by limiting global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Reaching that level would still bring powerful storms, deep floods, devastating droughts and problematic sea-level rise, but it would avoid even worse consequences. Global temperatures have increased by about 1.1 degrees C since the industrial revolution.

A clear understanding of how emissions affect temperature shows that there is still time to reach the political agreements, economic reforms and social acceptance needed to significantly reduce emissions, reduce temperature and reduce destruction. Nations can avoid the 1.5 degree ceiling by making deep cuts now. As of July 30, the emission reduction commitments of the 191 nations that signed the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement will allow for a warming of 2.7 degrees by 2100, according to a report published in September by the UNFCCC secretary. The United Nations on Climate Change, a group that coordinates ongoing commitments to the Paris Agreement. The purpose of the COP26 meeting is to close the gap. This is what must happen.

By What Year Will Climate Change Be Irreversible

The first step is to discard an old misconception in the public, media, and policymakers’ minds: the idea that even if people stopped emitting carbon overnight, climate change would continue to raise temperatures for years. Because CO

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It could remain in space for a century or more, the argument goes; even if the concentration stops increasing, the temperature will continue to rise because the heat trap is already there. In other words, a certain level of future warming is “built” into the system, so it is too late to avoid the 1.5 degree limit.

But scientists dismissed that idea at least a decade ago. Climate models consistently show that “dedicated” (built-in) warming is not happening. As soon as CO

, as they always do. The temperature does not rise continuously. It does not fall either, because the interaction of the atmosphere and the sea is correct and balanced. The result is that “the temperature does not rise or fall,” says Joeri Rogelj.

The good news is that if countries can drastically and quickly reduce emissions, warming can be kept below 1.5 degrees.

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From now to the future. This amount is known as the carbon budget. In 2019, the year before the COVID pandemic hit the global economy, the world emitted about 42 gigatonnes of CO.

– similar to the 2018 level and what is happening in 2021. According to the central situation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s comprehensive report published in August, “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis,” another 500 gigatons will be produced by CO2 emissions. increase global temperature by 1.5 degrees. Nations have about 11 more years above current emissions targets (2032) before ending the budget.

By What Year Will Climate Change Be Irreversible

However, that limit goes even further in the future if countries reduce their production significantly in the near future. Aggressive policies, enacted now, would create more time and more hope to prevent disaster. In a 2018 report, the IPCC said the world must achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050 to keep warming to 1.5 degrees. To stay on track, a UN report from September says, countries must cut emissions in half by 2030. Each year the delay brings the world closer to the brink. “We’re not trying to beat the temperature,” said Rogelj, who is also a member of parliament.

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Featured researcher at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and lead author of the 2021 IPCC report.

Credit: Amanda Montañez; Source: Climate Change 2021: The Natural Science Basis: A Brief for Policymakers. Working Group 1 of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press (published)

If countries fail and the temperature rises beyond 1.5 degrees, it will always be important to make rapid and continuous reductions to stay below 2.0 degrees of warming, the level at which scientists say the Impacts become more severe and more difficult for societies to cope with. To avoid that limit, the world can only emit another 1,350 gigatonnes of CO.

, according to the August IPCC report. At 42 gigatonnes per year, that will happen in 2052. Also, if countries significantly reduce their emissions immediately, that date will be extended further.

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If countries do not make significant reductions in this decade, the next reductions needed to limit temperature rise to 2.0 degrees will be very difficult to achieve. “Each passing year imposes a significant penalty on future reductions that may be required,” said Josep Canadell, principal research scientist at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, and lead author of the IPCC’s 2021 report.

It is also important to understand, Rogelj says, that every additional tenth of a temperature rise above 1.5 degrees carries a greater risk of climate damage, sea level rise and other additional environmental ills and more people, especially the most vulnerable. He compares the increased risk to jumping off a platform that might be three meters high today: Healthy adults can fall unharmed, but young children and the elderly will be hurt. Each additional tenth of a degree raises the field. “At two meters,” said Rogelj, “more and more people will be injured. And at some point, everyone is going to get hurt badly. “

The IPCC’s carbon budget analysis includes a measure of uncertainty: about 15 percent up or down. And the average scenario means that countries have a 50 percent chance of keeping warming to 1.5 degrees if they limit future emissions to 500 gigatons. To improve the probability to 83 percent, the IPCC says, the budget has been reduced to 300 gigatonnes. The numbers get worse if countries continue to burn tropical forests because there will be less vegetation to release CO

By What Year Will Climate Change Be Irreversible

Of the universe. Countries should also consider social factors, such as ensuring that the economic challenges of reducing emissions are distributed fairly among citizens.

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