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Sun, 19 Jan 2020

Northeast Today

A Deadline to save Earth

A Deadline to save Earth
May 09
12:28 2019

Earth, the only planet that has harbored life on its surface for at least 3.5 billion years is now burning up. We have been beholding multiple changes in our climate and weather patterns. In fact, 2015 to 2018 were the four hottest years ever recorded. Dipanti Lahon throws light on the impending disaster.


First words:

Yes, we all are aware of this term called “Global Warming”. We have been witnessing that this warming planet is leading to millions of natural adversities all around us. During October, 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report where world’s leading climate scientists have warned that there is only 12 years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.



Let’s enumerate few reasons that compelled IPCC to draw the deadline:

As per the current studies, the world is currently 1C warmer than preindustrial levels. Following devastating hurricanes in the US, record droughts in Cape Town and forest fires in the Arctic, the IPCC makes clear that climate change is already happening and warned that every fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact.

A Report by The Guardian says, at 1.5C the proportion of the global population exposed to water stress could be 50% lower than at 2C.Food scarcity would be less of a problem, whereas millions of people would be at risk of climate-related poverty. At 2C summer days would become severely hot, increasing heat-stricken deaths and forest fires.

The report clearly mentioned that insects, which are vital for pollination of crops, and plants, are likely to lose half their habitat at 2C. Corals would be at 99% loss if the temperature is not contained at 1.5C.

Sea-level rise would affect 10 million more people in near future if the half-degree extra warming brought a forecast 10cm additional pressure on coastlines and in the following centuries the number of affected people will increase.

Why the deadline matters?

Speaking of the need of this deadline, Debra Roberts, a co-chair of the Working Group of IPCC says, “This is the largest clarion bell from the science community”, on publishing the report. She hopes that it mobilizes people and dents the mood of complacency. Roberts added, “It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now.”

The authors of this landmark report told that urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is feasible although it lays at the most ambitious end of the Paris agreement a pledge to keep temperatures contained.

Johan Rockström, a co-author of the Hothouse Earth expressed his opinion that climate change is occurring more rapidly than expected. Hence, this report is substantial.


Counter Opinions:

Kate Marvel, a climate scientist at NASA told, “We don’t have 12 years to prevent climate change — we have no time. It’s already here. And even under a business-as-usual scenario, the world isn’t going to end in exactly twelve years.”

In an interview with the American news website AXIOS, Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, told that the idea that there is only a finite amount of time to fix climate change is the wrong way to look at the problem.


Progress at the Political end:

The authors stated, in the run-up to the final week of negotiations, there were fears that the text of the report would be watered down by the US, Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich countries that are reluctant to consider more ambitious cuts.

A co-chairman of the working group, IPCC, Jim Skea saysthat they have presented governments with pretty hard choices. They also have pointed out the enormous benefits of keeping temperatures to 1.5C. He added, “We show it can be done within laws of physics and chemistry. Then the final tick box is political will.” Skea also stated that although unexpectedly good progress has been made in the adoption of renewable energy, deforestation for agriculture was turning a natural carbon sink into a source of emissions. Carbon capture and storage projects, which are essential for reducing emissions in the concrete and waste disposal industries, have also ground to a halt.


The Conclusion:

Although the report is refuted by a few of the greatest climate scientists, this could still be very effective as we have already seen how rapidly the global climate is changing and affecting the environment. The governments must act now to achieve the goal because every action matters. Should a deadline of 12 years be a question to save the planet? Perhaps, we must all be aware that every year matters because every bit of global warming can cause anything that could be dangerous to humanity and the planet.






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