Doomsday Could Happen Within Decades – Report
According to a new report, severe weather impacts caused as a result of climate change like killer storms and rising sea levels could occur sooner than expected.Advertisement
The report, “Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise, and Superstorms,” the findings of which were published in the European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, on Tuesday, said that limiting global warming to 2-degree Celsius (or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) previously agreed by global leaders and scientists may be too high.
As a consequence, killer storms more powerful than ever, disintegration of polar ice sheets and an astonishing rise in sea levels, enough to drown the world’s coastal areas, could occur before the turn of the century, according to scientists.
James E. Hansen, former NASA climate scientist who also led the research, said, “We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control.”
According to CBS News, the research suggests that sea levels could rise by several meters in the next 50 or 150 years due to large scale and rapid melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. This will lead to a “stratification” of the polar oceans; cooler meltwater will lie on the ocean’s surface while warmer water will remain underneath. This warmer water, close to the polar ice sheets, would cause them to melt; resulting in continued stratification that will further cause the rapid rise of sea levels.
While some scientists say this finding may explain why Earth underwent drastic climate shifts in the past, others are not so convinced by the claims made in the report. Michael E. Mann, climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, said, “Some of the claims in this paper are indeed extraordinary. They conflict with the mainstream understanding of climate change to the point where the standard of proof is quite high.”
Last year, world’s leaders came together and agreed to limit carbon emissions. However, the report says that these developments may have arrived a little too late. “The message our climate science delivers to society, policymakers, and the public alike is this: we have a global emergency. Fossil fuel CO2 emissions should be reduced as rapidly as practical,” the authors say.