Scenario of 'hothouse' making earth less inhabitable planet

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 3, 2019

More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now "active", with immediate threats including the loss of the Amazon rainforest and the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, all of which are currently undergoing measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier than expected. "This is alarming. Crossing the tipping points will throw us into a climatic condition from where it will be impossible to come out, no matter what efforts are made". Deforestation, combined with climate change, mean the "lungs of the world" are close to a tipping point where the forest dries out and can not survive. In the research done in 2008 by the team led by Timothy, they defined tipping point as-"Critical threshold at which a tiny perturbation can qualitatively alter the state or development of a system".

They say research has shown that West Antarctica's Amundsen Gulf Sea may have already passed the tipping point where the meeting point of ice, water and bedrock retreat irreversible.

"A decade ago we identified a suite of potential tipping points in the Earth system, now we see evidence that over half of them have been activated", said lead author Professor Tim Lenton, director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter.

"It is not only human pressures on Earth that continue rising to unprecedented levels".

"It is also that as science advances, we must admit that we have underestimated the risks of unleashing irreversible changes, where the planet self-amplifies global warming". The abundant changes started by global warming could harm our existence.

These findings indicate the loss of the Amazon rainforest and the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, which are now undergoing measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier than expected. These crucial climatic zones are now undergoing measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier and faster than expected.

The collapse of major ice sheets on Greenland, West Antarctica and part of East Antarctica would commit the world to around 10 meters of irreversible sea-level rise. Also, the permafrost, rainforests, and boreal forests are examples of biosphere tipping points that, if met, result in the launch of extra greenhouse gases, expanding global warming.

An emergency response of rapid action to reduce emissions is needed to stop this "tipping cascade", they say. "No amount of economic cost-benefit analysis is going to help us. We need to change our approach to the climate problem", the paper says.

The UN needs to lead from the front in the war against climate change. It will be important to see how the countries plan and implement to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. Exiting the fossil fuel economy is unlikely before 2050, but with temperatures already at 1.1°C above pre-industrial temperature, Earth will likely cross the 1.5°C guardrail by 2040.

The authors argue that the information from the IPCC during the last two years shows that the tipping point could be exceeded even between 1 and 2C warming.

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