Thursday, April 23, 2015

Scientists Zero In on Only Solution to Climate Crisis

Panel of international climate scientists says the world has only until 2050 to become a zero-carbon society − but the rewards for doing so would be immense

Antarctic ice melt may already mean dramatic impacts on sea-level rise. (Image Credit: Tanya Patrick/CSIRO via Wikimedia Commons) Click to Enlarge.
If you want to know what we have to do to avoid catastrophic climate change, 17 of the world’s leading climate scientists have worked out a simple but challenging solution:  the world, they say, must turn by mid-century into a zero-carbon society.

The signatories to Wednesday’s Earth Statement say: “This trajectory is not one of economic pain, but of economic opportunity, progress and inclusiveness.  It is a chance too good to be missed.

“The latest science indicates that there are critical thresholds in the Earth system.  Transgressing them may lead to dramatic and irreversible environmental changes.

“We are probably edging very close to such thresholds, and may already have crossed one with regard to melting of parts of Antarctica.  Sea-level rise of more than one meter due to this event alone may be inevitable.”

Window of opportunity
They are convinced that time is short.  “The window of opportunity is closing fast,” says Johan Rockström, chair of the Earth League, an international group of scientists from leading research institutions working on issues caused by climate change, natural resource depletion, land degradation and water scarcity.

“We are on a trajectory that will leave our world irrevocably changed, far exceeding the 2°C mark.  This gamble risks disaster for humanity, with unmanageable sea-level rise, heat waves, droughts and floods.

“We would never consider this level of risk in any other walk of life, yet we seem prepared to take this risk with our planet.  Conversely, the scientific evidence shows that we can create a positive future, but only with bold action now.”

Read more at Scientists Zero In on Only Solution to Climate Crisis

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