The last few weeks have seen an avalanche of climate science reports and it isn’t pretty. On current trends we are heading towards catastrophe within our own lifetimes.
On Sunday a French scientist warned that 10% of the Arctic Ocean will be corrosively acidic by 2018, 50% by 2050 and 100% by 2100. This will cause the collapse of the ocean food chain, destroying oceanic ecosystems and human livelihoods.
On the same day the UN warned that drought could affect 70% of the planet’s surface by 2025, up from 41% now (currently a rise of 15-25% from 1990).
Last week a UK Met Office report, prepared for the Department of Energy and Climate Change says that temperature rises of 4 degrees on pre-industrial levels are possible by 2060 on current emissions trends. This would mean water shortages for most of the world, hundreds of millions of climate refugees on the move causing wars, and it would be impossible to grow food in most of Australia.
What else does four degrees mean? By 2060 there’ll be no Amazon rainforest, no Great Barrier Reef and no Asian monsoon, and 50% of the world’s species will be extinct. The “once in a lifetime” floods that India and The Philippines are experiencing right now will be regular events, as will mega bushfires in Victoria.
What’s that you say? What about the actions that governments are taking to steer us away from business as usual? Well, depressingly, according to another study for the United Nations Environment Program discovered that even if governments enact their most ambitious climate policy pledges, the world will still warm by 3.7 degrees Celsius (6.29 Farenheit) by 2100.
Yet another catastrophic scenario.
Despite this doom and gloom, all the scientists in these studies say there is still time to avoid these catastrophic impacts. But what governments are proposing to do is nowhere near enough!
We need atmospheric carbon levels brought well below 350 parts per million (Rudd advocates 450ppm at the moment, current levels are 389ppm). We need to urgently start replacing coal-fired electricity with renewable energy (not delay action while money is wasted on researching clean coal), and we need deep and fast emissions cuts, starting yesterday.
Our governments won’t act until you do, and it will soon be too late. There’s no point denying reality, the bad news now being published in mainstream science journals isn’t going away. Check out this blog for current campaigns or contact us at YarraCAN -at- gmail.com