In 2008, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, a series of studies concluded that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained above 350 parts per million (ppm). Read more about the science behind 350 ppm.
Will concentrations will be reduced to 350 ppm or lower? Even if we had coordinated global commitment to meet this goal, chances were between extremely slim and none. Of course, no global commitment was made. Rather we kept doing the exact opposite, just as we have been doing for the past 30 years. Now rising sea levels, massive floods and other extreme weather events, massive human displacement, accelerated species extinctions (because the changes are too rapid for large and long-lived species to adapt) and reduced ability to support human populations are virtually ensured.
Rising temperatures has already made life even more difficult in some of the most difficult places on earth. In 2010 temperatures soared to record highs in the Middle East leading to power outages in several countries. Extreme heat waves have been complemented by extreme hurricanes, and melting of glaciers causing floods and, in the long run, drying up the steady streams that irrigate farmlands.
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