Climate forecasts predict a bad future for us, at least until the year 2100. Now researchers have developed a method that can predict the consequences of climate change by 2500.
Quebec - Dark times are ahead of mankind: Extreme weather, environmental catastrophes and the rise in sea levels are already plaguing us, all of which is due to the human species.
The anthropogenic, man-made climate change is destroying our planet, as climate prognoses have proven many times.
The earth will change drastically by 2100 if the earth continues to be treated as it has been up to now.
But what actually happens afterwards?
After all, the year 2100 is drawing closer and those born today can easily reach that date.
Will the earth keep turning?
Climate forecast up to 2500: previous models are only "short-sighted"
In a report by the climate researchers around Christopher Lyon, Erin E. Saupe and Co. from McGill University in Quebec, the consequences of current human activities are projected into the year 2500.
The concentration of the dangerous greenhouse gas in the atmosphere continues to rise, so that the changes caused by it can still be felt centuries after the year 2100.
It is therefore “short-sighted” to only look up to this reference value, which is why the research team has modeled climate change up to 2500 under a series of emission scenarios.
IPCC assessment report: droughts, floods and food shortages
Previous models only lasted until the year 2100, as this value was considered to be “an appropriately distant horizon for climate projections”. But now mankind is only 79 years away from it, so the reference must be further in the future, according to the scientists. Previous climate protection measures, such as those of the Paris Agreement, show only inadequate or inadequate effects.
Politicians must therefore increasingly orientate themselves towards the research results of the three working groups (WG) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which have regularly published so-called status reports since 1990. It has already been shown several times that an immediate stop to all emissions would not immediately stop climate change. The most harmful of all emissions, CO2, is stored for different periods of time in the various spheres, so that it can take centuries before a unit emitted today can also be broken down.
In its last report, the IPCC explained what this means for the year 2100.
The effects on ecosystems and the climate are shown using various emission scenarios in which different amounts are emitted.
Droughts, floods, food shortages and the destruction of human habitat will occur before the year 2100.
Lyon and his colleagues have now researched what happens afterwards.
Climate crisis up to 2500: Scientists want to get politicians to act
By now it should be known that a climate catastrophe is inevitable without a far-reaching reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change can only be reduced with a rethink and considerable expense in business, politics and society. With the help of a special atmosphere-ocean model, the researchers show what happens if humanity continues to emit on a large scale.
This model, named HadCM3, is considered under three emission scenarios, "which represent a strong, moderate and weak global climate policy".
The aim of the research is to provide policy makers with recommendations for action that suggest measures in agriculture up to and including socio-economic areas.
So one can also plan for the time after 2100 and govern in the light of longer-term climate dynamics.
The scientists want to show "the need for further work in this area".
Results of the climate forecast for 2500: Earth temperature continues to rise
The results of the various scenarios are consistently alarming. The global mean temperature rises in all of them after 2100, only the low-emission scenario is the exception. Global warming, which is already noticeable today, will not be evenly distributed, the land surface and the polar regions are heating up more intensely. The report clearly signals that reducing emissions is vital. The higher emission scenarios appear particularly dramatic; they "will lead to a profound restructuring of the world's biomes by the year 2500."
The Amazon rainforest is expected to die off severely, because the temperatures and rainfall are changing so drastically that life there is hardly possible.
"Climatic conditions, forest dieback and its positive feedback will transform most of the Amazon basin into a desolate, barren landscape".
The only hope is the scenario with low emissions: global warming should already peak in this century, after which the earth could recover a little.
However, the sea level is rising here too, so that coasts and entire countries could be destroyed by storm surges.
The reason for this is the "slow continued mixing of the heat into the deep sea".
High death rates from global heat
The researchers see the so-called “heat stress” as very problematic. Even the physiologically fittest people could hardly endure permanent temperatures above 35 ° C, the mortality rate would increase considerably. But it is not only health that is being damaged, important infrastructures that humans cannot do without would also literally melt away. Electricity, transport and agriculture would have struggled enormously with the heat, areas such as India, Africa, Arabia, and Southeast Asia would become so hot that life there is hardly possible.
"Our projections for the world beyond the year 2100 show that without rapid and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, large areas of the earth will change in such a way that they are no longer suitable for human settlement," the scientists said.
Food would be scarce, the agricultural area would decrease drastically.
Researchers warn: "Our children and grandchildren" have to live in this world too
In their report, the scientists appeal to the people: "We have to think about the world in which our children and grandchildren should live in the future and what we can do now to keep the earth friendly for them too".
Mankind would not have much time left to effectively stop climate change by 2100.
"The window of time in which emissions can be reduced in line with the Paris Agreement is closing rapidly," said Lyon and colleagues.
If greenhouse gases are not reduced soon, large parts of the world could no longer be inhabited after 2100.
Therefore, we need to understand these changes beyond the next 80 years ”in order to“ pave the way for a peaceful and habitable earth for decades and centuries to come, ”the report says.
The majority of Germans are therefore calling for stricter measures to save the planet.
The UN also sees a big difference between ambition and reality when it comes to climate protection