A recent study suggests that earth is at a risk of entering into an irreversible hothouse condition. This is a state in which the global temperatures will drift upwards by four to five degrees even if the targets under the 2015 Paris climate deal is met. Considering the Hothouse situation, the earth climate in long-term will stabilize at a global average of 4-5 degrees Celsius putting it above the pre-industrial temperature with sea level at 10-60 meters higher than today.
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Let’s understand what the study suggests?
As if now the global temperature is just one degree Celsius above the pre-industrial phase and is constantly rising at 0.17 degree Celsius per decade. In the 2015 Paris climate agreement, there was a mutual understanding of keeping the global warming within the 15.2 degree Celsius by almost 200 countries, which seems to look more difficult than previous assessments.
This human-induced global warming of two degree Celsius will alter all other Earth system processes that is also called as feedbacks, which will drive further warming even when the greenhouse gases emission are put to stop and to avoid this scenario there will be a redirection of human actions that includes exploitation of stewardship of Earth system.
According to the study done, there are ten natural feedback processes. The feedback processes include tipping elements, which leads to an abrupt change in case the critical threshold is crossed and these feedbacks could turn from being something friendly that stores carbon, to an enemy that would emit it uncontrollably in the warmer world.
Considering the feedback, the list includes permafrost thaw, loss of methane hydrates, weakening of land and ocean carbon sinks, boreal forest dieback, increasing bacterial respiration in oceans, reduction of northern hemisphere snow cover, Amazon rainforest dieback, reduction of Antarctic sea ice and polar ice sheets as well as loss of Arctic summer sea ice. With these feedback tipping elements, there can be a potential act, like a row of dominoes in which if one is pushed over, which would push the other aspects of the Earth functioning’s that will aid to consequences in the long term making things difficult in the future.
- Location: India
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