So, if we don't act, Climate Change will happen. And it looks like/is highly probable the consequences will be of a scale we haven't seen in modern history.
But when will this happen? And if something has to be done, don't we still have time? Hasn't the Climate changed on our planet already a long time ago?
As we as humans have difficulties with longer time frames, this pages is dedicated to answering the questions on Climate Change related to time.
We got some bad news. Climate Change has already begun.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution:
Temperatures have increased 1.0 °C
Sea levels have already risen by 0.2m
Glaciers have decreased in size
North Pole sea ice has thined and shrunk by 10% in surface
The largest Coral Reef in the world has most likely received a fatal blow
If we don't counter Climate Change, by 2050-2100 our children wil live in a world in which:
Temperatures will have increased 2-3°C
Sea levels will have risen by 1.0m
Glaciers will have disappeared
North Pole will be ice free from 2040 on
World Coral reef will have declined with 98%
Land that was inhabited by 150 million people will be flooded
By 2200 and centuries after, if we have not countered Climate Change, human society as we know it will not exist anymore
Temperatures will have increased 4-10°C
Sea levels will have risen 9.0m
Land that was inhabited by 470-760 million people will be flooded
When will Climate Change really happen?
"Things that normally happen in geologic time are happening during the span of a human lifetime"
If we do not counter Climate Change, by 2200, human society as we know it will not exist anymore.
A Climate Change Sceptic argument often heard is that "Climate Change has happened in the past", insinuating that 'it cannot be that bad' or 'it cannot be our fault'.
It is certainly true that temperatures on this planet have been higher and lower before. However, the current Climate Change is man-made.
To understand how the past compares to the present, it is important to have an understanding of the time scale we are comparing and what life was like back then.
In this, the following facts can help to make us understand:
In contrast: 800 000 years ago, the modern human, Homo Sapiens, did not exist yet and the humanoid species of Homo Erectus did not surpass a global population of 55 000.
50 million years ago the first mammals had just appeared and the European continental plate was not yet attached to the Asian plate.
Source- Encyclopaedia Britannica
In 2017, global CO2 concentrations has surpassed 410 ppm
This is the highest concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere in millions of years
Right now we’re on track to create an atmosphere unseen in 50 million years by 2050
How about Climate Change in the Past?
Source- Climate Central
How much time do we still have to combat Climate Change? This depends on what outcome we expect to achieve. In many ways, we are already too late. Climate Change is already happening and it is going to put a lasting impact on the next generations.
What we can still do, is prevent the worst scenarios of Climate Change taking place. We can still reduce the flooding of land inhabited by 760 million people to land inhabited by 150 million people.
For this, we have to:
Reduce our greenhouse gas emission with 30-50% by 2030
Reduce our greenhouse gas emission to zero by 2050
Source - Climate Action Tracker
Having No serious impact of Climate Change on our future?
-We are already too late-
Keeping Global Warming below the 1.5 °C which are considered 'safe' by science?
-We are already too late-
Keeping Global Warming at 2°C and preventing the worst consequences for the next generation?
-We have to Act NOW -