Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

7 Mar 2022

Running out of time

Posted by Michael Keating

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC]  makes for chilling reading even at a time when we have war in Ukraine and a continuing COVID-19 crisis. It says the window to prevent huge and irreversible changes to our climate is rapidly closing. The effects of melting glaciers and thawing permafrost in some areas are “approaching irreversibility.” Mass die-off of fauna and flora are happening now. We already live in a world of history making floods, fires and drought and this with a temperature rise of only 1.1C from pre-industrial times. At current rates of emissions we are headed for between 2 and 3 C which will likely trigger a scenario where burning trees and melting permafrost release even more greenhouse gases accelerating the warming trend. The results will be dramatic and deadly. Tens of millions will have to flee as their homelands become unlivable because of flooding or heat waves. The only way to stave off the worst is to start making gigantic cuts to emissions, at least 45 per cent in this decade alone.

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