To the editor:
Two new studies, published on Monday in the National Climate Change journal, have ominous overtones when it comes to the climate. One study says that there is a 95 percent chance that Earth will warm more than 2 degrees Celsius by century’s end. The new median forecast is 3.2 degrees. These studies were completed before the U.S. pulled out of the Paris accords, meaning that the temperature data could go higher.
The stress that this would cause for the planet is enormous. The study says that rising seas, mass extinctions, super droughts, increased wildfires, intense hurricanes, decreased crops and fresh water … and the melting of the Arctic are expected. We would need to take extraordinary technological measures to survive – with little chance of maintaining the consumptive nature of our present existence.
A scientist, Thorsten Mauritsen, author of one of the studies said this, “Even if we would stop burning fossil fuels today, the Earth would continue to warm slowly. It is this committed warming that we estimate.”
Have we passed the point of no return? The realistic answer may be pretty grim. We need to confront this right now.