We Must Act Now on Climate.
The action we take right now on climate change could dictate what life on this planet is like for the next 10,000 years.
According to a new study published in the journal “Nature Climate Change,” “The next few decades offer a brief window of opportunity to minimize large-scale and potentially catastrophic climate change that will extend longer than the entire history of human civilization thus far.”
In other words, we may be looking at our last chance to ensure that future generations can survive on our warming planet. This new study says that if we put off reducing carbon emissions by even ten years, it will have a huge impact on sea level rise, ocean acidification, and peak atmospheric temperatures.
Researchers warn that our current goal of 2 degree Celsius rise in average temperatures already locks in about 25 meters of sea level rise over the next 2,000 years. If we don't meet that 2-degree goal, sea level rise could be as high as 50 meters – roughly 75 feet – which would change the map of the world as we know it.
In addition to sea level rise, our current rate of pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will increase ocean acidification and pretty much lock in the destruction of marine ecosystems throughout the world. Once our oceans are destroyed and our coastal environments under water, life as we know it will cease to exist.
Thomas Stocker, a climate physicist who worked on this recent study, said, “The long-term view sends the chilling message of what the real risks and consequences are of the fossil fuel era.” He added, “It will commit us to massive adaptation efforts so that for many, dislocation and migration becomes the only option.”
If we don't want the next generations to be faced with such a dystopian survival, we must act now to establish policies that will bring about a cleaner, greener future.