climate

Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

United Nations issued a serious warning. According to a new report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have to mend things and we have got 12 years to transform our planet into a carbon- neutral world.

According to the Guardian, unless the world makes some drastic and immediate changes to combat the damage already done, millions of people may be irreversibly imperiled by drought, flooding, extreme heat and increased poverty in upcoming decades.

The report was based on extensive research and analyzing more than 6,000 scientific studies done by 91 scientists from 40 countries. The report showed that the Paris agreement to limit the temperature rise by 2-degree-Celsius (earlier it was 1.5-degree-Celsius and increased later), would not be very helpful in curbing the heavy impact of global warming. The world would still be suffering from rife disasters and calamities even if we manage to limit temperature to 1.5-degree-Celsius.

The natural ecosystems, weather, agriculture, and life, in general, would suffer vastly due to a 1.5-degree rise. Imagine what would happen if the rise is beyond 2-degrees. The report said that could cost $54 trillion in damages as agriculture is the primary source of income in many countries. Further, it may result in severe droughts, floods, destruction of coral reefs and give rise to disease, poverty, and hunger.

To make the matter worse, our planet has already turned 1-degree-Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels. So, our window is even shorter than we presumed.

“Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics,” energy policy expert Jim Skea of Imperial College London, one of the authors of the report, explains to Christopher Joyce at NPR. “But doing so would require unprecedented changes.”

The changes we require are plenty and they are needed to become effective as soon as possible. We need a 40 to 50 reduction in emissions by 2030 and a carbon-neutral world by 2050.

The world needs to reduce the dependency on coal and fossil fuels as the primary source of energy and shift focus to renewable energy from sun and wind.

The technology plays a very important part in putting these initiatives and words into motion. Turning eco-friendly would definitely help the cause but would not be of much use without relevant technology to suck greenhouse gases from the air. We still lack reliable machines to do the job effectively and commercially.

“The best way to remove carbon dioxide from the air,” explains MIT engineer Howard Herzog in his book Carbon Capture, is “to not release it into the air in the first place,” Joyce reports.

Moreover, the nations in the world should be on the same page. Only together we can avoid this Armageddon. Donald Trump, President of the United States, announced intent to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement in 2017. A step in a wrong direction.

“We have a monumental task in front of us, but it’s not impossible,” study co-author and climate scientist Natalie Mahowald of Cornell University tells Joyce at NPR. “This is our chance to decide what [the next 50 years] will look like.”

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *