Have you ever thought about what would happen if we were to witness all the effects of global warming now? Could we get through them and survive? We like it or not, climate change is affecting us all and it’s mostly our fault. If we take specialists’ warnings seriously and look into the future, we won’t like what we see.
Apocalyptic images like collapsing polar ice caps, the Sahara Desert turning green, tropical forests burning and 20-foot sea-level rise could become our daily surroundings. If we survive, that is, because a recent study suggests, the impact of global warming could be even more severe than the Earth’s current climate issues.
Katrin Meissner, a specialist from University of New South Wales in Australia and the study’s co-author, declared that the warming and climate change rate is remarkable, faster than in any other stage from our planet’s history. Given the situation, it’s hard to predict what will happen and how things will evolve.
The situation is so severe that not even the landmark established through the Paris Climate Agreement might be enough to prevent the catastrophe. The document intends to set a limit for the global warming: 2o Celsius or 3.6o Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels, but this parameter could be useless.
The future doesn’t look good
Alan Mix, a scientist from Oregon State University and another study co-author declared that if global warming continues, it will have a significant impact on the Earth’s systems. Because of this phenomenon, the sea-level rise could become unstoppable and much of the world’s infrastructure, economic activity and population would be affected.
The Earth’s past might give some clues upon the future. Scientists compared the natural global warming periods with the ones caused by human action. Over the past 3.5 million years, people have accelerated the climate change by burning of fossil fuels.
Coal, oil and gas are known for releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (carbon dioxide and methane). Considering this, we shouldn’t wonder why this is happening. Instead, we should start thinking about the responsible use of what’s left of natural resources and ways to slow the warming down.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca