“Point without return” is the expression that, increasingly, appears in scientific research on climate change. The warning, given to Greenland’s glaciers, now concerns global warming: even if all greenhouse gas emissions disappear tomorrow, temperatures and oceans will continue to rise.
“According to our models, humanity is beyond the point of return when it comes to stopping the melting of permafrost using the reduction of greenhouse gases as the only tool,” said the climate strategist at BI Norwegian Business School and lead author of the study published in Nature Scientific Reports, Jorgen Randers.
Randers and his colleague Ulrich Goluke created, using a climate model, two scenarios until the year 2500: one, with the instant cessation of emissions and the other, with the gradual reduction of greenhouse gases to zero until 2100.
Between the bad and the apocalyptic
In the first, temperatures rise in the next 50 years, reaching 1.1 ° C above what it is today, to drop soon afterwards and, from 2150, to rise another degree in the next 350 years. The sea level would rise at least three meters.
In the second scenario, temperatures would rise to the point of shaking civilization’s very survival much more quickly; the general picture, in the year 2500, would be the same as that of the first scenario.
According to the researchers, the main points of return in the climate system have already been surpassed, triggering a self-perpetuating warming process.
“If we want to stop it, we must take other paths, such as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it underground,” he says, adding that this can be done by planting billions of trees. There is already technology to suck in carbon dioxide. carbon from the atmosphere, but not on a large scale.