A new study modeled an Earth where humanity dropped emission levels to zero overnight, to see the impact on global warming. Unfortunately, it found, we’ve crossed the point of no return for climate change even if the magic was to happen.
It means, even if all of humanity colluded to magically stop every source of emission that there is, Earth will sill take its own, bitter pace, to warm for centuries to come, and oceans will still rise by meters.
The study, using what is called the ‘ESCIMO climate model’ found, the world will enter into a scaringly unavoidable self-sustained climate change that will reverberate long after humans have taken down emissions to zero.
How did the model work?
The so-called ESCIMO model paints utopian earth with a “reduced complexity” climate model which the scientists ran from 1850 to 2500 and they’ve “identified a point-of-no-return in our climate model ESCIMO—and that it is already behind us.”
Physical factors like — thawing permafrost, denser cloud-cover (owing to the accumulation of water vapor in the atmosphere, thanks to rising temperatures), and continued emissions — have already set forth an irreversible motion that will roll into environmental degradation, Norway scientists said in the study.
In August a major study ongoing for some 35-years declared glaciers in Greenland has shrunken to a point of no return, and the ice is likely to melt even as the annual snowfall continues.
In October We The World reported the main nursery of Arctic ice in Siberia was yet to freeze, raising alarms in the scientific community since it was the latest date by which the ice remained unfrozen, ever since the activity was recorded.
Studies-after-studies are concluding a gradual advancement to a point, where even the most aggressive efforts by humanity might bear no fruits.
“According to our models, humanity is beyond the point-of-no-return when it comes to halting the melting of permafrost using greenhouse gas cuts as the single tool,” lead author of the Norway-study, Jorgen Randers, told AFP. He is a professor emeritus of climate strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School.
He said, if at all we want to achieve this theoretically non-achievable feat, we’d have to devise newer ways to offset the carbon in the atmosphere, like sucking them out from the environment and store them underground or make the Earth’s surface brighter, the professor said striking an example.
The paper published in a peer-reviewed journal on November 12th drew two scenarios based on their utopian model where emissions seized overnight, to check the aftereffects of the same.
In the first scenario, which scientists say is “most likely,” the model found that in an imaginary world, where carbon emissions are stopped at the flip of a switch, global warming kept rolling to the next 50-years, spiking temperatures by 2.3-degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and then it cools slightly.
In the second scenario, that is by 2150, the model found Earth warming up again after the last drop, this time the global temperature climbed up by another degree and sea-levels rose by three-meters, in a span of 350-years.
In the second scenario, the dramatic changes have ripped apart the framework of civilization far quicker than the first, but ends at nearly the same 2500 point, AFP reported.
A separate study conducted by scientists from over 20 nations spanning 389 days where scientists sailed through the freezing arctic returned with a grim conclusion, saying: “We witnessed how the Arctic Ocean is dying,” We The World earlier reported.
More or less every recent finding on the Earth’s current status convey that humanity has passed a point of no return. The widespread man-made emissions have triggered self-perpetuating warming.
Among the many principal causes of this serious damage to the ecosystem is the melting of arctic ice, also called the permafrost in record volumes.
Since the fall of the 20th Century, the earth’s ice-cover that reflects 80% of the Sun’s heating radiation back into space has melted significantly and has been replaced by open oceans. Now, the same amount of radiation is absorbed by the oceans instead.
The results certainly paint a grim image, that shows nothing can be done, but few experts have questioned the credibility of the study model.
Scientists behind this contradictory study says the ‘self-sustained’ heating is a robust phenomenon in their model world.
“It only disappears when man-made emissions are stopped counterfactually as early as in the 1960es. Or by choosing parameter values that do not recreate historical developments,” the paper states, which has been published in the Journal Scientific Reports.