How hot will the Earth get?| Trending Viral hub

What do these events have in common?

More than 30 straight days of temperatures above 110 degrees Fahrenheit in Phoenix. 126 F measured in China. 120F at 1am in Death Valley. 109 F in Rome.

These are all new temperature records set in 2023. Yes, heat waves in Land They are normal. But continually breaking, almost breaking or erasing heat records it is not normal. Such historic and sustained heat It is expected to increase in the coming years as increasing global warming exacerbates heat waves, and overall temperatures will continue to rise until emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases occur. fall to zero.

So, you may be wondering: How hot will it get?

The answer depends on the most unpredictable part of the climate change equation: Us. More specifically, the amount of fossil fuel emissions, largely from carbon dioxide and methane, humanity is loaded into the atmosphere. So while no single, clear answer is possible, scientists have created different warming scenarios – which are like highways to considerably different destinations – based ultimately on the decisions made by prodigious carbon emitters, governments. worldwide and beyond.

“These scenarios depend a lot on what humans are going to do, and we’re not very good at predicting what humans are going to do,” said Flavio Lehner, a climate scientist at Cornell University who researches future warming and how it will affect to the earth. Crushable.

The good news is that it is extremely unlikely that we are on the worst path, in which the Earth would warm about 9 or 10 F (about 5 C) above pre-Industrial Revolution levels of the late 19th century. But more importantly, it will also be a challenge to achieve the best and most optimistic outcome, which would mean limiting warming to about 2.7°F (or 1.5°C) above pre-Revolution levels. Industrial by the end of this century. Such an ambitious climate goal would avoid worst consequences of global warming.

The Earth has already warmed 1.2°C (2°F) since the end of the 19th century.

Update: In December 2023, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service announced that 2023 was the year warmest year on record. This is no surprise: In 2023, six different months were the warmest ever recorded.

How hot will the Earth get?

About 10 years ago, things seemed dire.

The use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions They increased continuously every year. It looked like the Earth could be headed for a truly catastrophic amount of warming, the worst-case scenario shown by the top brown line in the graph below. (The graphic was created by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global agency charged with providing objective analyzes of the social impacts of climate change.) This warming scenario is called “SSP5-8.5,” which essentially means extremely high greenhouse gas emissions. (SSP is short for “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways”). It is a world where, by 2100, global coal burning will increase by a whopping 6.5 times. But the use of coal, although it has not decreased, has increased. largely stopped its annual growth.

What’s more, renewable energies (such as wind and solar, has expanded enormously and now provides about 13 percent of energy in the US. (although renewable energy is still surpassed by fossil fuels both in the United States and globally).

Crushable speed of light

“We have entered an energy transition that was not evident a decade ago,” climate scientist Zeke Hausfather told Mashable. This energy change has considerably reduced the probability of the worst climate scenario occurring.

“What we’re doing is making the darkest futures increasingly unlikely,” Hausfather said.

“What we’re doing is making the darkest futures increasingly unlikely.”

At the other end of the extreme scenarios is SSP1-1.9, which would limit warming to only about 2.7 F (1.5 C) above pre-Industrial Revolution levels by the end of the century. It is the bottom line, light blue. That’s the warming goal world leaders hoped to achieve when signed the historic Paris Agreement in 2016. But humanity is likely to exceed this ambitious warming goal as soon as like the 2030s.

This probably leaves us somewhere in the middle, which still means significant warming.

“It’s not good news, but it’s not the worst news either,” said Lehner, a climate scientist at Cornell University.

The different future warming scenarios, based largely on carbon emissions.  It is more likely that we are heading towards an intermediate scenario, similar to the orange line, "SSP2-4.5."

The different future warming scenarios, based largely on carbon emissions. It is more likely that we are heading towards an intermediate scenario, similar to the orange line, “SSP2-4.5”.
Credit: IPCC

Crucially, high amounts of heating, perhaps up to about 7 F (about 4 C), are still possible and cannot be completely ruled out, Lehner said. But such warming is at the extreme of what is likely, he emphasized.

So how much warming is there? at the moment realistic? Something close to the SSP2-4.5 trajectory, which is the middle orange line above, Hausfather explained. that’s in it 4.8 F (2.6 to 2.7 C) range above preindustrial levels.

“It’s about our best estimate of current policies,” Hausfather said, referring to the current situation. climate policies promulgated by nations. Barely There’s an important caveat here, because other factors, such as how exactly the Earth will respond to future levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, are uncertain.

How bad will global warming be?

About 4.8°F (2.6°C) of warming is still expected this century. a lot. That’s a future any reasonable person would want to avoid.

“We can do much better,” Hausfather noted. “Current policies are hopefully not the best we can pursue for the rest of the century.”

Just about 1.2°C (2°F) of warming has already caused dramatic changes. The heating has:

Clearly, a world at about 2 F (1.2 C) is problematic and, for some, catastrophic.

“We are already seeing unprecedented events,” Lehner explained. “It’s not the same climate anymore. All of that happens at 1.2 (C).”

“We are already seeing unprecedented events.”

So what happens at 2°C (3.6°F), which is about twice the current heat? “Many of these impacts will double in frequency or severity,” Lehner said. “In a 2 degree (C) world things are likely to be twice as bad or worse,” he added, noting that not all changes will be linear (that is, they will change in the same proportion with increasing warming).

An IPCC graph showing estimated annual carbon emissions for each warming pathway.  (1 gigaton of carbon, or GTCO2, is one billion tons).

An IPCC graph showing estimated annual carbon emissions for each warming pathway. (1 gigaton of carbon, or GTCO2, is one billion tons).
Credit: IPCC

That is why it is essential to limit warming, as much as possible, not only for us, but also for future residents of the Earth. they will experience severe sea level rise. But it doesn’t have to be devastating.

“Every tenth of a degree matters,” Lehner said.

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