The 2C threshold, proposed by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition in 2005, is the average fluctuation in temperature that climate change can make without making the entire planet uninhabitable. But what about its halfway point, the 1C threshold ? Global warming slowly rises to the challenge, making this year one of the hottest years in our recorded history. By doing this gradual increase in temperature, scientists are starting to worry more and more that this won’t stop until we pass the 2C threshold.
If Earth passes this line, drastic climate change effects will start to appear all over the planet, ranging from floods due to the rising sea levels, the polar caps melting, scorching temperatures that will transform farmlands into barren wastelands, an increase in waterborne diseases, such as the dreaded malaria, complete destruction of the Amazonian forest and the coral reefs slowly dying off due to the acidifying of the oceans. It’s safe to say that it will basically be the end of the world as we know it, even though it probably won’t be sudden and violent.
Efforts have been made to slow down this process or even stopping it since 2005 when the Stop Climate Chaos coalition proposed that governments take an active approach when it comes to greenhouse emission. They were more or less ignored, but now, the Met Office along with the Climactic Research Unit of East Anglia scientists are releasing an information dataset that points out how 2015 is the hottest year on record, passing the 1C halfway of the 2C threshold.
In 2016 and the years to come, temperatures will slowly rise, making the years to come warmer and warmer. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change from Canada said that if he doesn’t act now to drastically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, Canada will be facing a real threat (the rise of temperature will bring the possible death of countless Canadians due to the waters rising and constant floods).
The main greenhouse emitters, USA and China respectively, are hoped to take note of the global conference in Paris next month that will tackle the threat of global warming and try to do something about the problem. The record of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere was reached in 2014 and prompted scientist to seriously consider that the point of no return might be just around the corner, threatening the very existence of the human race.
So, is it possible to still have hope after we pass the 1C threshold? Climate change is slowly rising up to the challenge, let’s hope that we rise against it and stop it before it’s too late.