“Hothouse Earth” – New Report

7 August 2018

A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that there is a risk of Earth entering “Hothouse Earth” conditions where the climate in the long term will stabilize at a global average of 4-5°C higher than pre-industrial temperatures and sea level 10-60 m higher than today.  The report highlights that, even if the carbon emission reductions called for in the Paris Agreement are met, there is a risk of Earth entering what the scientists call “Hothouse Earth” conditions.  A “Hothouse Earth” climate will in the long term stabilize at a global average of 4-5°C higher than pre-industrial temperatures with sea level 10-60 m higher than today.  Maximizing the chances of avoiding a “Hothouse Earth” requires not only reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions but also enhancement and/or creation of new biological carbon stores.

The authors conclude it is now urgent to greatly accelerate the transition towards an emission-free world economy.

“Human emissions of greenhouse gas are not the sole determinant of temperature on Earth. Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of 2°C may trigger other Earth system processes, often called “feedbacks”, that can drive further warming – even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases,” says lead author Will Steffen from the Australian National University and Stockholm Resilience Centre…..Avoiding this scenario requires a redirection of human actions from exploitation to stewardship of the Earth system.”

Currently, global average temperatures are just over 1°C above pre-industrial and rising at 0.17°C per decade.

“Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if “Hothouse Earth” becomes the reality”

Johan Rockström, co-author

Read more here.

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