First modification: 08/12/2021 – 03:30
Scientists once again sound the alarms and this time the warning comes with a more urgent tone and with concrete figures of the “unequivocal” impact of human beings on global warming and changing its weather patterns. Our activity has changed the climate on Earth as it has not in millennia. And although many of these changes can be reversed in a few years or decades, others are already irreversible.
Humans are the “indisputable” cause of climate change that has been observed on the planet since the beginning of the 20th century and the observed rate of warming, caused by humans, is unprecedented in at least the last 2,000 years.
Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity are responsible for the warming of the planet by approximately 1.1 ºC since the years 1850-1900. In the next 20 years, the global average temperature is expected to exceed 1.5 ºC, the maximum agreed in 2015 during the Paris summit to keep the planet in reasonable living conditions.
Some changes in weather patterns can be reversed in decades if we limit greenhouse gas emissions now. Air quality, for example, could improve rapidly, but global temperatures will take about two to three decades to stabilize. Other changes are irreversible. Or if they are, it will take hundreds or thousands of years to recover. This would be the case of the changes that the oceans, the ice sheets or the rise in sea level have undergone.
The problem that many of us saw as something distant and distant has come closer to our doorstep, despite the fact that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been publishing reports that told us for almost 40 years that the problem is real, serious and requires immediate action. “The world heard, but did not listen,” as stated by the executive director of the UN Environment Program, Inger Andersen, during the presentation of the sixth IPCC report, approved by the 195 countries that comprise it.
According to Andersen, the actions were not strong enough and now climate change is here and “no one is safe.” And although the effects are different depending on where we live, the impacts they are just as serious.
Scientists give us the data, we must act
What these scientists are telling us is that each time the evidence is clearer and everything points to us, humans, being the culprits that there are more and more extreme weather phenomena such as heat waves, torrential rains, droughts, hurricanes or typhoons.
However, the report does not provide concrete solutions. In an interview with France 24, Katharine Hayhoe, scientific leader of the environmental organization The Nature Conservancy, explains that providing solutions is neither the objective of this report nor the work of scientists. According to Hayhoe, “science diagnoses the problem, science monitors the problem, science tells us how serious it is. But physical science cannot tell us what to do, because that depends on our values, our priorities, our technology. of our policies. “
We have had solutions for decades, but The Nature Conservancy reminds us: “We need to reduce our carbon emissions as soon as possible and as much as possible. We have to accelerate the transition to clean energy, we have to invest in solutions based on nature, such as conservation, protection of our wetlands and keeping carbon in the soil, which is where we want it and not in the atmosphere, “reiterates the entity.
For Hayhoe, the biggest enemy we have right now is that we are not aware of how much climate change affects us in our daily lives. The climate scientist reminds us that everything around us, everything we do, eat and breathe is harmed or benefited depending on the health of our planet. And he concludes with the following statement: “The planet will survive, the question is whether we will.”
The certainty that climate change is real and that the responsibility lies with the human species is one of the words that is repeated the most in this report. Now the ball is in the hands of citizens and politicians and the certainty that effective and quick decisions will be taken to solve a problem that affects each and every one of the inhabitants of the planet is questioned.