The Environment

Climate Change May Be Moving So Fast It Could Be “Game Over”, Warn Scientists

“It sounds on the apocalyptic side of bad..."

One day after America elected the only world leader to deny climate change in Donald Trump, new research has suggested that the Earth’s climate could be even more sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought.

Scientists published in one of the most respected academic journals in the world are warning that climate change may be escalating so fast that it could be “game over”, raising the possibility of an apocalyptic temperature rise of more than 7 Celsius to within a lifetime.

If the Earth’s temperature rises seven degrees, it could trigger the kind of runaway global warming that – billions of years ago, and over a prolonged period of time – may have turned Venus from a habitable planet into a 460C furnace.

The research centres on how the climate would react to greenhouse gases, man-made and otherwise, as change starts to take hold and the world warms.

On the left of the graph, a reconstruction of the Earth’s global mean temperature over the last 784,000 years, followed by a projection to 2100 based on new calculations of the climate’s sensitivity to greenhouse gases (Friedrich, et al. (2016))

The previous estimate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested that the Earth’s average temperature would rise by between 2.6 and 4.8 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2100 if there were no concerted efforts made to improve our emissions.

Concerningly though, new research from international experts believes that because the climate will become more sensitive to greenhouse gases as the Earth gets warmer, this process could be fast-tracked, and the actual range could be between 4.78C and 7.36C by 2100.

The scientists in question have made this conclusion after studying how the climate of the Earth has reacted over roughly 784,000 years.

Dr. Tobias Freidrich, one of the authors of the paper, said: “Our results imply that the Earth’s sensitivity to variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide increases as the climate warms.

“Currently, our planet is in a warm phase – an interglacial period – and the associated increased climate sensitivity needs to be taken into account for future projections of warming induced by human activities.

“The only way out is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.”

Professor Michael Mann of Penn State University is one of the leading researchers in the world of climate change and told The Independent the new paper “appeared sound and the conclusions quite defensible. And it does indeed provide support for the notion that a Donald Trump presidency could be game over for the climate.”

Donald Trump’s effects on climate change do indeed appear concerning; not only does he plan to undo much of the good work done by the Obama regime and has hinted he wants to shut down the EPA, he has also actively spoken about withdrawing from the Paris Agreement – the deal that saw the world come together to agree to act upon climate change.

Should Trump withdraw America from the deal, or just ignore the deal completely, China could follow suit and it would be hard for the world to change if the top two emitters were not on board.

“By ‘game over for the climate’,” Mann continued, “I mean game over for stabilizing warming below dangerous (i.e. greater than 2C) levels. If Trump makes good on his promises and the US pulls out of the Paris treaty, it is difficult to see a path forward to keep warming below those levels.”

Author and climate change expert Mark Lynas was also shocked adding: “It sounds on the apocalyptic side of bad and, in some ways, it is realistic because ‘business as usual’ just got more likely as Trump wants to rebuild the pipelines.

“It was game over at six [degrees] to be honest. I don’t think there was much more to add, other than turning the planet into Venus.”

The chief scientist at Greenpeace UK, Dr Doug Parr, also had to say: “The worrying thing is the suggestion climate sensitivity is higher [than thought] is not incompatible with higher temperatures we have been seeing this year.

“Anybody who understands the situation we find ourselves in would have already have realised we are in an emergency situation.”

It’s becoming increasingly clear that based on the science, we should be acting now and treating climate change as an emergency, not backtracking, as Trump plans to do, on previous work which already was not quite enough.

You May Also Like

Why Electing Donald Trump Was the Worst Thing to Have Happened to Climate Change

6 Frightening Facts About Climate Change Which Prove Humans are the Worst


Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.