May 23, 2024

Climate change: a red alert for our planet

Climate change: a red alert for our planet

Fear of tipping points

However, the researchers’ greatest concern is the evidence that climate change is becoming increasingly uncontrollable, with tipping points past. There are indications that the sharp increase in wildfires is not linearly correlated with warming. The researchers cautioned that “while temperatures on Earth are still rising, the frequency and extent of climate disasters could jump even higher.” This greatly increases the risk, for example, that crops could fail in several regions of the world at the same time, leading to an unprecedented global food crisis.

“Acknowledging that we are approaching catastrophic and uncontrollable risks is not clear enough”Johan Rockström, Resilience and Climate Researcher

“Awareness of human-caused climate change is high worldwide,” says climate researcher Rockstrom. “But the insight that we are approaching uncontrollable catastrophic risks is not clear enough.” For Rockstrom, the climate summit in a few weeks should be the moment “when negotiators finally realize how important the global 1.5 degree upper limit is.” If the mark is exceeded, it is likely that many major tipping points will be crossed and, for example, the northern permafrost will suddenly thaw. “We have already had a year of extreme drought and extreme heat, with floods and storms, with the temperature rising by 1.2 degrees. Step by step, the consequences are becoming more and more uncontrollable.

Climate protection, nature conservation and justice

In their recommendations for action, the researchers support an approach like the one adopted recently Recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There he says climate change is the result of the planet’s environmental overexploitation, which is beyond the ability of ecosystems to regenerate. “We have to control overexploitation and at the same time step up climate protection measures.” In addition to avoiding almost all emissions from fossil fuels, the main factors are therefore better protection of nature, and a significant reduction in consumption and waste by the world. The middle class, especially in rich countries. Access to more education and rights for girls and women and the implementation of a sustainable environmental economy that ensures social justice must be part of climate protection. In addition, they recommend better research into technical options for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“Leaders must show that they understand that we are in a real crisis and commit to strong policy initiatives commensurate with the severity of the crisis.”William J. Ripple, environmental scientist

Experts warn that “the fact that natural disasters are on the rise shows that we are in the midst of a global crisis that could become much worse if we continue to act as before.” And perhaps addressing the climate negotiators in Sharm el-Sheikh, they explain: “The stakes are greater today than they have been at any time since our climate system was created more than 10,000 years ago – we are on the edge of a precipice and we have a chance to revive life in order to change the world tremendously. “At the same time, it is important not to fall into negativity in light of the bleak situation. Rather than give up, we must end the environmental destruction and immediately take massive action to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The study’s authors formulate high expectations for climate policy in the coming years. “The future of humanity depends on the creativity, morals and perseverance of the people who live on this planet today,” they write in their Outlook. This is the only way to reduce damage, preserve nature and avoid untold human suffering. Environmental scientist Ripple hopes to get a signal in this direction from the upcoming summit in Egypt. “Heads of State and Government must show that they understand that we are in a real crisis and commit to radical policy initiatives commensurate with the severity of the crisis.” Hope derives cautiously from one of the sixteen standard values. From his vital signs model: “We are seeing more and more governments declaring a climate emergency. This is an encouraging sign – even if we still have a long way to go.

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