According to a substantial new scientific assessment, certain grave effects of global warming
are now inescapable. However, there is still time to prevent things from getting worse.
Fire at Manavgat, Antalya, Turkey, city fire fumes, fire smoke at sunset.
(By YALCIN KAHYA/Shutter-stock)
Nations have waited so long to reduce their fossil-fuel emissions that they will be unable to
prevent global warming from deteriorating during the next 30 years, according to a major new
UN scientific research, though there is still time to avoid the most dire consequences.
Since the 19th century, humans have warmed the earth by around 1.1 degrees Celsius, or 2
degrees Fahrenheit, primarily through burning coal, oil, and gas for energy. The ramifications
can be felt all across the world: Hundreds of people have died this summer due to scorching
heat in the United States and Canada, floods have destroyed in Germany and China, and out-of control wildfires in Siberia, Turkey, and Greece.
But, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of experts
established by the United Nations, that’s just the beginning. Even if countries began drastically
reducing emissions today, total global warming is expected to grow by 1.5 degrees Celsius in
the following two decades, implying a hotter future.
Scientists have discovered that the dangers increase dramatically when the temperature rises
by 1.5 degrees Celsius. More frequent life-threatening heat waves might affect nearly 1 billion
people worldwide. Hundreds of millions of people would be at risk of running out of water due
to droughts. Some animal and plant species that are currently living will become extinct.
reefs, which support significant portions of the world’s fisheries, will experience more frequent
However, not all is lost, and humanity still has a chance to keep the world from becoming
significantly hotter. To do so, governments would have to work together to stop emitting
carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2050, which would need an urgent move away from fossil
fuels, as well as potentially removing massive amounts of carbon from the atmosphere.
The analysis predicts that if this happens, global warming will likely come to a standstill and level off at roughly 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Massive floods in the streets of Steyr, Austria, (By Lisa-S/Shutter-stock)
However, if nations fail in this endeavour, global average temperatures would continue to rise,
potentially reaching 2 degrees, 3 degrees, or even 4 degrees Celsius higher than they were
before the industrial revolution. Every additional degree of warming, according to the research,
brings significantly higher dangers, such as more severe floods and heat waves, worsening
droughts, and rapid sea-level rise, which might endanger the existence of some island nations.
The risk of crossing dangerous “tipping points,” such as the irreversible collapse of Greenland’s
and West Antarctica’s massive ice sheets, increases as the planet warms.
According to the report, tropical cyclones have become more intense over the last 40 years, a
change that cannot be explained solely by natural variability.
The report warns that as global temperatures rise, so will the dangers. Consider a dangerous
heat wave that would only happen once every 50 years in a certain place in the past. On
average, a similar heat wave occurs every ten years today.
Heat waves will occur every 5 years if global warming continues at 1.5 degrees Celsius, and they will be substantially hotter. They will happen practically every year if the world warms by 4 degrees.
Take, for example, the rise in sea level. Ocean levels are anticipated to rise another 1 to 2 feet
this century at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, regularly inundating many coastal cities with
floods that would have occurred once every century previously.
However, if temperatures continue to climb, the massive ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland may disintegrate in unanticipated ways, potentially adding another three feet of sea-level rise this century, according to the analysis.
According to the analysis, the current climate shifts have little precedent in human history. The
last ten years have been the hottest on record for the globe in 125,000 years.
The melting and receding of the world’s glaciers is “unprecedented in at least the previous 2,000 years,” according to scientists. Carbon dioxide levels haven’t been this high in the atmosphere for at least 2 million years.
The new analysis concludes that nations burning fossil fuels, cutting forests, and filling the
atmosphere with heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are
responsible for nearly all of the increase in global average temperatures.
It’s possible that more shockingly unpredictable changes are on the way. For example, a critical
ocean circulation mechanism in the Atlantic Ocean that serves to moderate Europe’s
temperature is currently slowing down.
While the team determined that the system was unlikely to collapse abruptly this century, it warned that if the world continued to warm, the chances of such “low likelihood, high impact scenarios” would increase.
Over the last century, ocean levels have increased an average of 8 inches, with the pace of
growth doubling since 2006. In several parts of the world, heat waves have become much
hotter and stay longer since 1950. Across broad parts of the globe, wildfire weather has gotten
harsher. Since the 1980s, the frequency of bursts of intense heat in the water — which can kill
fish, seabirds, and coral reefs — has doubled.
President Biden is among a rising number of world leaders who have accepted the aim of
reducing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that existing policies in the
major polluting countries are still far from meeting that objective. China, the United States, the
European Union, India, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Iran, and Canada are the top ten
greenhouse gas emitters.
While the general scientific understanding of climate change has not evolved significantly in
recent years, scientists have achieved a number of significant advancements. Computer models
have grown in power. Researchers have also gathered a plethora of fresh data by deploying
satellites and ocean buoys, as well as analysing ice cores and peat bogs to create a fuller picture
of the Earth’s past climate.
Previous climate reports have primarily focused on large-scale global changes, making it
difficult for countries and corporations to take particular measures to protect people and
Climate change could have an impact on areas of human society such coastal cities, farming,
and health-care systems. So, it is vital to give specific information for each region, decisionmakers, and leaders.