Climate changes endgame: the potential of human extinction is dangerously underexplored in the form of a study that the possibility of a global societal collapse or the extinction of humans has been “dangerously underexplored.”
They refer to events of this magnitude as the “climate endgame.” Catastrophic scenarios could not be ruled out, despite the fact that the likelihood of their occurrence was low due to the uncertainty surrounding future emissions and the climate system, as stated by the researchers.
“Facing a future of accelerating climate change while blind to worst-case scenarios is naive risk management at best and fatally foolish at worst,” the scientists said. They added that there were “ample reasons” to suspect that global warming could result in an apocalyptic disaster. “Facing a future of accelerating climate change while blind to worst-case scenarios is fatally foolish at worst,” the scientists said.
According to the findings of the worldwide team of experts, the entire world must immediately begin to make preparations for the prospect of the climate endgame. According to what they claimed, “Analyzing the systems that are responsible for these dramatic outcomes could help galvanize action, build resilience, and influence policy.”
According to the findings of the study, public fear and efforts to disarm were sparked by speculations made in the 1980s about the nuclear winter that would follow a nuclear war. The research agenda suggested by the analysis takes into account what the authors of the study refer to as the “four horsemen” of the climatic endgame: starvation, extreme weather, conflict, and disease.
In addition to this, they requested that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change create a special study on the subject. According to what they said, a “groundswell of public concern” was driven by the IPCC report on the implications of merely 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.
Dr. Luke Kemp of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, who was in charge of leading the research and analysis, stated that “there are plenty of grounds to assume climate change might turn catastrophic, even at low levels of warming.” Climate change has been an important factor in all of the major extinction events that have occurred. It has been responsible for the downfall of empires and has influenced history.
“Paths to disaster are not restricted to the direct repercussions of high temperatures, such as extreme weather occurrences,” he said. “Paths to disaster are not limited to just high temperatures.” Other catastrophes may be triggered as a result of knock-on consequences, such as financial crises, conflict, and the advent of new diseases.
The investigation is presented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where it has also been peer-reviewed by a total of twelve professionals in the field. The paper contends that the repercussions of a rise in global temperature of more than 3 degrees Celsius have received insufficient attention, with few quantitative assessments of the entire impacts. Kemp made the statement that “we know least about the scenarios that matter the most.”
According to the experts, a comprehensive risk assessment would take into account how dangers propagated, interacted, and magnified one another, but no such attempt had been made. They stated, “However, this is how risk manifests itself in the real world.” “For instance, a hurricane can wreak havoc on electrical infrastructure, leaving people defenseless against the lethal heatwave that inevitably follows.” They went on to say that the Covid pandemic highlighted the necessity of investigating rare but high-impact global dangers.
Especially worrisome are situations known as tipping points, which occur when a little increase in the average temperature of the Earth brings about a significant shift in the climate. One example of this is when the Amazon rainforest is subjected to severe droughts and fires. They warned that tipping points might activate others in a cascade, and some of them remained little understood. One example is the sudden disappearance of stratocumulus cloud decks, which could result in an additional 8 degrees Celsius of global warming.
The researchers warn that a breakdown in climate might increase or precipitate other catastrophic risks, such as international wars or infectious disease pandemics, and that it could intensify current vulnerabilities, such as poverty, crop failures, and a shortage of water. According to the findings of the study, major world powers might one day engage in a conflict around geoengineering plans to reflect sunlight or the right to emit carbon.
According to the findings of the scientists, “there is a notable overlap between nations that are today susceptible and future areas of extreme warming.” “A belt of instability with possibly devastating repercussions could arise in the next decades if the existing political fragility does not dramatically improve in the coming decades.”
The scientists stated that there were further strong reasons to be concerned about the potential for a global climate catastrophe. “There are warnings from history,” one of the scientists remarked. In the course of Earth’s history, there have been five instances of mass extinction that have been attributed, in part, to climate change. Climate change was also a factor in the dissolution or transformation of a number of earlier cultures.
If current trends in carbon emissions continue, it is possible that two billion people would be living in areas where the annual average temperature is higher than 29 degrees Celsius by the year 2070. This intense heat is defined as an annual average temperature of more than 29 degrees Celsius.
“Such temperatures currently affect roughly 30 million people in the Sahara and Gulf Coast,” said Chi Xu, who is a professor at Nanjing University in China and was a member of the team. Chi Xu was involved in the research. “By the year 2070, these temperatures and the social and political repercussions that result from them will have a direct impact on two nuclear powers, as well as seven maximum containment laboratories that are home to the deadliest viruses. There is a significant risk of chain reactions leading to terrible outcomes.”
The rate of greenhouse gas emissions that is currently occurring would result in a temperature increase of 2.1-3.9C by the year 2100. However, assuming all of the existing commitments to action are carried out, the range would be between 1.9 and 3 degrees Celsius. If all long-term goals set to date were achieved, the temperature increase would be between 1.7 and 2.6 degrees Celsius.
According to the authors’ findings, “even these optimistic assumptions lead to catastrophic Earth system trajectories.” Temperatures that were more than 2 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels had not been maintained on Earth for more than 2.6 million years, according to the researchers. This was a long time ago compared to the rise of human civilization, which occurred within a “narrow climatic envelope” over the course of the past 10,000 years.
According to Professor Johan Rockstrom, who works at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, “the more we discover about how the processes on our planet work, the greater the reason there is to be concerned.” “As time goes on, we have a better understanding that the world we live on is a more complex and delicate organism. In order to avert catastrophe, we need to perform the necessary calculations.