Published on May 2, 2019 Michael Flammer, Leiter, Zentraleinkauf on LinkedIn
“Warning: The following four short videos are not for the faint-hearted. Why should you face it anyway? Because the future of our children and grandchildren gets explained in a sober, fact-based, ruthless and startling way. So terrifying, I needed a moment to get myself together after first watching them. Each of the four videos describes our world after a global warming of 2°C, 3°C, 4°C and more.
It also explains why we can barely stop further warming once we have reached a temperature increase of 2°C. Because that is the moment when mutually reinforcing effects will spiral climate change out of control.
It is important to remember that we are currently on a path that will lead us to an increase in temperature of 3-4°C by the year 2100. Only radical and immediate reduction of greenhouse gases and ultimately the complete and worldwide abandonment of fossil fuels by 2050 at the latest will give us a 50% to 60% chance to keep the earth’s temperature below 2°C.
What happens if the world warms up by 2°C?
“At a 2°C rise, people will begin to die of what is now considered normal summers. Countries already hit by hurricanes face ever greater storms. Plant growth slows down, then stops. Plants don’t absorb CO2 as efficiently, instead emitting it. The extra carbon sees global warming spiral out of control. In the year 2100 sea levels would rise by a meter displacing 10% of the world’s population. In this 2°C future, ecosystems across the globe collapse. A third of all life on earth faces extinction.”
What happens if the world warms up by 3°C?
“If global temperature rises by 2°C the chances of avoiding a 3°C increase are slim. At a 3°C increase plants stop absorbing CO2, enough carbon builds in the atmosphere to raise temperatures by another 1.5°C by 2100. The planet is tipped into runaway global warming. Cities and farms around the world will loose their rivers and reservoirs run dry. Saltwater creeps upstream and groundwater is poisoned. This tips food production into a irreversible decline.”
“After the collapse of the amazon and the carbon cycle, stabilising the global temperature to avoiding a 4°C increase may no longer be possible. Coastal cities will either vanish or become islands. A sea level rise of 1m every 20 years is far beyond our capacity to adapt. At this point up to 85% of the amazon rainforest has disappeared. But the most damaging effect of this temperature is an irresistible thawing of permafrost. At least 500bn tonnes of carbon trapped below ground could be released by 2100.”
“Above 4°C we are looking at a vastly different world. Rainforests have turned into deserts and rising seas reach see into continents. Migrants force their way into the few habitable places left on earth. Civil wars are the inevitable outcome. To see what the world could look like at 6°C rise, we have to go back 251 million years. 95% of living species were wiped out. At sea everything suffocated. The forests are burning, the rivers are drying up. Continents carved up by toxic oceans and corpses pile up in cities across the planet. A 6°C world is a bleak one.”
Don’t forget, what you have just seen. I certainly won’t. I can’t. It will always remember me why I have become an activist from a very normal family father that I used to be. Remember these consequences whenever someone says that climate mitigation becomes kind of pricy. There simply is no price tag big enough to equal a future for our kids and eventually for the whole human civilization on earth. There will be no use for any kind of wealth in the future of our kids, if we now choose to save money instead of acting on #ClimateChange.
As you can see in the following chart from a study in Nature Magazine, every of the above shown futures are still possible, from 1.5°C up to 6°C or more. You may also recognize, that there was a natural climate warming over the last 20,000 years. But the important point is, it took 20,000 years! What mankind is about to do right now, is a similar increase in global temperature in just under 200 years. That is 100 times faster and unprecedented in all of earths history. It is unlikely, that life will be able to adjust to this change at this rate.
The future of our kids and our grandchildren depends simply on a single question: How quickly will we be able to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero?
Please share this article and show it to all those who still have not completely understood how severe and irreversible the #ClimateCrisis is. We can’t avoid it anymore. 1.5°C is already locked in, maybe even more. All we can do, is to minimize the damage. We still have a chance to avoid a catastrophic climate change if we act now. If we act together. If we use the power of our votes.
EU Elections will take place from 23. May until 26. May. #VoteClimate #ClimateElections”