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.
 

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.

Sources:

Source - New York Times

Source - National Geographic

Source - The Independent

Source - The Economist

Source - Climate Central

Source - Climate Central

Source - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

 

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

Sources:

Source -The Conversation

Source - Earth Observatory - National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Source - Scientific American

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 -

How Much Time Do we still Have?

Sources:

Source - Yale University 360 magazine

Source - Scientific American