New Report Warns “High Likelihood Of Human Civilization Coming To An End” Within 30 Years
A new report has warned there’s an existential risk to humanity from the climate crisis within the coming decades, and a “high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end” over the next three decades unless urgent action is taken.
The authors argue we are now in a unique situation with no precise historical equivalent, with temperatures unlike anything humanity has ever experienced, and a population of nearly 8 billion people. This requires us to work towards avoiding catastrophic possibilities rather than looking at probabilities, as learning from mistakes is not an option when it comes to existential risks.
Governments fail to act on the evidence that the Paris Agreement isn’t enough to keep Earth’s temperature from rising, and will “lock in at least 3°C of warming”. As projected by previous studies, carbon dioxide levels have reached 437 parts per million, which hasn’t been seen in the last 20 million years. The planet warms by 1.6°C (2.8°F).
Emissions peak in 2030 and are reduced. However, carbon cycle feedbacks and the continued use of fossil fuels see temperatures rise by 3°C (5.4°F) by 2050.
By 2050 there’s a scientific consensus that we reached the tipping point for ice sheets in Greenland and the West Antarctic well before 2°C (3.6°F) of warming, and for widespread permafrost at 2.5°C (4.5°F).
This might sound overly dramatic or alarmist, but the probability of this happening is likely higher than we think.
With a runaway event like this, climate change will not present as a normal distribution, but instead will be skewed by a fat tail – indicating a greater likelihood of warming that is well in excess of average climate models.
The policy paper is published by the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration.