The doomsday clock is ticking, not the mythological one but the self-inflicted disaster watch that presents the gravest existential danger to our species. An international team of eight researchers claims that the Earth has less than just ten years to survive if we continue with our current practices. The good news is that there is still a sliver of hope and a formula to balance the killer carbon dioxide emissions using carbon sinks like the forests. Only these sinks can help our world keep the global temperatures from passing the 1.5 degree Celsius, which is widely known as the trigger point for a mass scale Armageddon showdown.
The scientists claim that if the world sticks to the Paris agreement, the next decade will be critical in deciding our survival. They have presented two ways to reduce the carbon pollution, one by cutting down the carbon dioxide emissions and second by working on restoring carbon sinks. These methods have been detailed in a Nature Communications study, published online yesterday and is the first one to use the new FeliX computer model which includes environmental factors as well as social and economic ones.
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Study lead, Brain Walsh who is a World Bank consultant and a researcher at the Austria-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) said that his team had studied carbon emissions from fossil fuels, agriculture, food production, bio-energy, and land use. They have also catered for the natural ecosystems’ ability to absorb these carbon emissions in estimating the timeline.
Below is the crux of the recommendation:
“We must reduce fossil fuel use to the point where it’s under 25 percent of the global energy supply by 2100; it’s at 95 percent right now. And we need to reduce deforestation to attain a 42 percent decrease in emissions by 2100.”
The researchers pin their hopes on renewable energy technologies with four energy sectors under consideration. It would include making the wind, solar, and bio-energy usage jump from the current paltry five percent per year so the temperature increase can be halted by 2022. But just using renewable will not do the trick as well, since this will still lead to a 2.5 degrees Celsius temperature if we are unable to employ carbon sinks and negative emissions technologies.
Keywan Riahi, IIASA Energy Program Director and co-author said,
“Earlier work on mitigation strategies by IIASA has shown the importance of demand-side measures, including efficiency, conservation, and behavioral change. Success in these areas may explain the difference between reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius instead of 2 degrees Celsius.”
The dangerous thing about the truth is that it remains as real as ever whether you believe in it or not. So the decision on agreeing on the reality of climate change or keep pandering to the short term monetary gains is in our hands, and so is the future of our planet as we know it!