Earth Is 1C From Hothouse State That 'Threatens Future Of Humanity'

Scientists say humanity may only have a few years to save itself from disaster

"Human emissions of greenhouse gas are not the sole determinant of temperature on Earth".

"Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of [3.6 degrees] may trigger other Earth system processes, often called 'feedbacks, ' that can drive further warming - even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases", the study's lead author Will Steffen said, according to USA Today. This summer dozens of people have died in wildfires and heat waves from the USA to Asia, giving the world an insight into what could lie ahead.

Average global temperatures are now 1C above pre-industrial times, a trend that the scientific community has mainly blamed on man-caused climate change.

Many scientists argue that we have entered a new geological era, the Anthropocene, in which human activity is directly affecting the planet.

The scientific community, by and large, is in agreement that global temperatures will exceed 2C above pre-industrial levels within this century, possibly within the next few decades.

"The implications are that if we can't stop it we're in a hell of a mess".

The team also claims that sea levels in such a climate change would be 30-200-feet higher than today. "It would simply be unbearable for our society".

Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland show this morning, Joseph Curtin, a senior fellow for climate and energy policy at the Institute of worldwide and European Affairs, explained that as sea-ice melts, the sea directly absorbs more of the sun's energy, creating more warming. "Could it be because we've broken the ocean currents that stabilise our weather?" However, there are no binding targets, and the USA later pulled out, dealing a blow to global efforts to form a united front against climate change.

The tipping point dangers were identified as thawing permafrost, the release of methane trapped on the ocean floor, weakening land and ocean carbon sinks, increased carbon dioxide production by ocean bacteria, Amazon rainforest die-back, coniferous forest die-back, reduced northern hemisphere snow cover, loss of Arctic summer sea ice, reduced Antarctic sea ice and melting polar ice sheets.

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Scientists from the Stockholm Resilience Center, the University of Copenhagen, Australian National University and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research worked on the study. "It may be very hard or impossible to stop the whole row of dominoes from tumbling over", Steffen said in a statement.

"Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if Hothouse Earth becomes the reality", Mr Rockström said.

Europe's prolonged extreme drought has caused the most severe problems to the EU vegetable sector in the last 40 years, according to the European Association of Fruit and Vegetable Processors (PROFEL). In Asia, heatwaves have killed dozens in Japan and South Korea.

People must immediately change their lifestyle to be better stewards of the Earth, the researchers said.

"It doesn't really change the imperative that we need to manage the situation".

He added: "We are the ones in control right now, but once we go past 2 degrees, we see that the Earth system tips over from being a friend to a foe".

Experts also worry about phenomena like wildfires, which will spread as the planet gets hotter and drier and have the potential to accelerate carbon dioxide buildup and global warming.

"I think this paper has a positive message".

We don't exactly know where this threshold sits at.

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