Scientists from seven countries have published an article in the journal BioScience assessing the changes in the global climate over the past year. Key indicators indicate that the situation is close to critical.
In 2019, the same journal published a declaration on a climate emergency, which was signed by more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries. Now, on the eve of the release of the Climate Change Report, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the initiators of the document - researchers from the USA, Australia, UK, France, the Netherlands, Bangladesh and Germany - have published an update.
Compared to 2019, scientists have noted an unprecedented surge in natural disasters related to climate change, including devastating floods, record heatwaves, violent storms and wildfires. The authors estimate that 2020 was the second hottest year on record, with the five hottest years after 2015.
This April, the content of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere has reached 416 parts per million. This is the highest average monthly concentration on record. Last year, three key greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide - set atmospheric concentration records, and this year they renewed them again.
"There is growing evidence that we are approaching or have already passed critical points in such important elements of the earth system as coral reefs, the Amazon rainforest, the ice sheets of West Antarctica and Greenland," - quoted by the lead author in a press release from the University of Oregon articles by professor of ecology William Ripple (William Ripple).
Researchers are calling for an urgent shift in global energy priorities towards drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions (especially methane), creating strategic climate reserves for storing carbon, introducing payments for carbon use, and taking effective measures to protect biodiversity.
“We need to stop looking at the climate emergency as a separate issue,” says Ripple. “Global warming is not the only symptom of tensions in the Earth system. Policies to deal with the climate crisis or any other symptom must address their root cause, over-exploitation. planet by man ".
The authors believe that the annual deterioration of climatic indicators is due to the fact that humanity continues to ruthlessly exploit the Earth "as usual." The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated production shutdowns had a small positive side effect of some relief from the climate crisis, but it was only temporary. According to scientists, the pandemic has shown that even a colossal but temporary reduction in traffic and consumption is not enough to combat climate change.
"As long as humanity continues to put pressure on the Earth system, the measures being taken will only redistribute the pressure," says fellow author Christopher Wolf, a fellow at the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. In his opinion, the termination of the exploitation of natural habitats will reduce the risks of transmission of zoonotic diseases, protect carbon stocks and preserve biodiversity, and at the same time.