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Sun Jul 3, 2022, 06:35 PM

Climate: Even briefly overshooting 2C will cause permanent damage

The history of climate change is one of people slowly coming to terms with the truth. None but a small minority still question whether it’s real and caused by humans. Now most grapple with the reality of trying to slow down catastrophic warming, and the difference between solutions and false hope. The concept of climate overshoot is the next thing we will need to get to grips with.

Unless urgent action is taken, emissions are expected to cause the planet to continue heating rapidly over the next few decades, prompting the global average temperature to overshoot the Paris agreement’s target, which aimed to limit warming to between 1.5°C and 2°C. A period of higher temperatures will occur in the middle of this century as a result. Then, the idea goes, new but yet unproven technologies and techniques for pulling greenhouse gases from the atmosphere will eventually bring temperatures back down to a safer level.

Until now, scientists were unsure what temporarily overshooting (and then boomeranging back below) the Paris agreement’s temperature target would entail for nature. So, for the first time, we studied the consequences of allowing Earth’s temperature to exceed these precautionary limits, then fall below them again, for marine and land-based life. In other words, we looked at how damaging the journey of overshooting the 2°C temperature target would be, and not just the destination itself.

The results suggest that a temporary overshoot would cause waves of irreversible extinctions and lasting damage to tens of thousands of species. This is what the world can expect if humanity fails to make deep emission cuts this decade, and relies instead on future technologies to remove emissions later.


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Reply Climate: Even briefly overshooting 2C will cause permanent damage (Original post)
AZProgressive Jul 2022 OP
Eliot Rosewater Jul 2022 #1
hunter Jul 2022 #2

Response to AZProgressive (Original post)

Sun Jul 3, 2022, 06:39 PM

1. One of the reasons I want to be healthy as long as possible is to watch, on TV

GLOBAL WARMING take out the people who denied it.

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Response to AZProgressive (Original post)

Sun Jul 3, 2022, 07:10 PM

2. My formal training in evolutionary biology keeps me sane.

A few million years from now our civilization is little more than a curious layer of trash in the geologic record.

Our biological or intellectual progeny may or may not be around to see that.

We can start making those choices now.

It's most likely we humans are yet another flash-in-the-pan soon-to-be-extinct disruptive species in the long history of earth. But it doesn't have to be that way.

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