Humans will perish in 31 years, warns latest climate change study
Cities like Mumbai, Florida, Shanghai will be reduced to swamps, 90% of mankind will be annihilated, says report released ahead of World Environment Day
We’ve got till 2050. That’s it—just another 31 years before 90% of mankind is annihilated by climate change, says Australia’s Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration. The BNCCR is an independent think-tank that aims to inform the conversation around climate emergency in Australia. Its recent report reinterprets existing data to arrive at this dire conclusion.
Should we take this report seriously?
The findings may seem alarmist, but the cause for alarm is genuine, the report says. It argues that though the data is there for all to see, bodies like the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are not projecting the doomsday scenario realistically enough—that they are “erring on the side of least drama”.ADVERTISING
“We must never forget that we are in a unique situation with no precise historic analogue. The level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is now greater, and the Earth warmer than what human beings have ever experienced. And there are almost eight billion of us now living on this planet.” (This corroborates with the recent decision by a body of scientists to formally declare our era as the Anthropocene—a time when humans have a disproportionate impact on the environment)
According to the study, we are marching towards an existential crisis at a much quicker trot than previously thought. It even questions the efficacy of the Paris Agreement that aims to cap global temperature rise to 3-5°C. That’s bad enough for disaster, the BNCCR says. “…3°C of warming already constitutes an existential risk,” says the study.
Mumbai, Shanghai and other cities at risk
A 3°C rise in temperatures would correspond to a 0.5m rise in sea levels endangering coastal areas around the world. “If climate change was to reach 3°C, most of Bangladesh and Florida would drown, while major coastal cities — Shanghai, Lagos, Mumbai — would be swamped, likely creating large flows of climate refugees,” says the study.
Besides, when temperatures rise more than 3°C, the domino effect that will be hard to roll back. Think no more polar ice caps to reflect the sun’s rays and heat, Arctic permafrost defrosting to release methane into the atmosphere and other such horrendous things that will only make the Earth hotter still. A 4°C rise could annihilate up to 80-90% of the global human population, say the study.
The think-tank estimates that if nothing is done, by 2050 up to 1 billion people currently residing in West Africa and the Middle East will have to relocate because the climate conditions there will make these places unliveable. Other parts of the world will experience more than 20 days of “record-breaking heatwaves and wildfires, more intense flooding and more damaging hurricanes” every year. (Puts the recent heatwave that India is experiencing in perspective.)
“Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon, humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences.” On the eve of World Environment Day, that’s a chilling warning.