If every country that made an emissions-cutting pledge in the Paris Agreement keeps its promise, the individual commitments would only keep warming below 3 degrees C at best. Current emission levels will result in temperature rise up to 7.8 degrees C by the end of this century.
That should terrify you!
“A 4 degrees C future is incompatible with an organized global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’, is devastating to the majority of ecosystems, and has a high probability of not being stable,” according to Kevin Anderson, a professor of energy and climate change and former director of the U.K.’s leading climate research institution, the Tyndall Energy Program.
Go back and read that again.
Current emission levels may result in temperature increases that are 2 times those that are “incompatible with an organized global community.” That’s a nice way of saying that you and everyone you love are probably going to die.
‘‘If you have got a population of 9 billion by 2050 and you hit 4 degrees, 5 degrees or 6 degrees, you might have half a billion people surviving,’’ states Anderson.
That’s a 6% survival rate, of humans. Think of twenty of your closest friends and family members. All but one will die due to climate impacts based on our current trajectory.
Three degrees may be the ‘‘tipping point’’, leaving us powerless to intervene as planetary temperatures soar and, quoting NASA climate scientist James Hansen, there will be ‘‘no return within the lifetime of any generation that can be imagined, and the trip will exterminate a large fraction of species on the planet’’. Half the world would be uninhabitable. Ocean ecosystems and food chains would collapse.
Join the People’s Climate Movement this April 29th. Find a march near you!