Paris Agreement: What will happen if the temperature rises above 1.5° Celsius

If the planet’s temperature rises by more than 1.5°C, i.e. if the most ambitious goal of the Paris climate agreement is not met, there will be changes that will be “irreversible” and trigger catastrophic chain reactions, warns a study that published in the scientific journal Science.

Already the current temperatures threaten to trigger five such changes, especially in the Antarctic and Greenland glaciers, warn the authors of the study, who consider, however, that it is not too late to take action.

A “climate tipping point” is “the critical threshold beyond which a system is reorganized, often violently and irreversibly,” as defined by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These are phenomena that trigger, in an independent and inescapable way, chain reactions.

Although initial analyzes estimated that the threshold for these effects ranged between 3 and 5 °C, advances in observations, climate models, and the reconstruction of paleoclimate conditions have drastically reduced the estimate.

The study published in Science is a synthesis of more than 200 scientific publications. It was conducted to more accurately predict the boundaries of these ‘tipping points’.

Of these changes, five may be triggered even with today’s temperatures, which have increased by 1.2°C compared to pre-industrial times: melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets will cause sea levels to rise by 10 meters, the rapid melting of permafrost will release huge amounts of greenhouse gases and dramatically change the landscapes in Russia, Canada, Scandinavia, stopping heat transfer in the Labrador Sea will mean a lot heavier winters in Old Epirus, as during the so-called Little Ice Age (early 14th-mid 19th century) and finally the elimination of coral reefs.

If the temperature rise reaches 1.5°C another four points will move from the “possible” category to the “probable” category and another five will also become “probable”, according to the study.

These devastating consequences depend on the duration of the temperature increase: if its increase of 1.5 ° Celsius lasts 50 or 60 years, the planet will experience the worst.

But humanity can still limit the damage. However, it remains necessary to “reduce emissions” of greenhouse gases “as soon as possible”, the scientist insisted.

Source: Εναλλακτική Δράση by

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