Climate shift to be 10 times quicker than past 65 million years over next century: Study

Washington, Aug.2 (ANI): Scientists have found that the likely rate of change in the climate will be at least 10 times quicker than any climate shift in the past 65 million years.

According to a study conducted by researchers from the Carnegie Institution, the rapid climate shift will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive.

The study found that although some of the changes the planet will experience in the next few decades are already 'baked into the system', how different the climate looks at the end of the 21st century will depend largely on how humans respond.

Researcher Noah Diffenbaugh said that from past changes that ecosystems have responded to a few degrees of global temperature change over thousands of years but the unprecedented trajectory that we're on now is forcing that change to occur over decades, magnitude faster, some species are already challenged by that rate of change.

Diffenbaugh said that today there are multiple human stressors that were not present 55 million years ago, such as urbanization and air and water pollution

Diffenbaugh and fellow researcher Chris Field found that if the current emissions of greenhouse gases remain unchecked, temperatures over the northern hemisphere will tip 5-6 degrees C warmer than today's averages. In this case, the hottest summer of the last 20 years becomes the new annual norm.

The study found that some climate changes will be unavoidable, because humans have already emitted greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and the atmosphere and oceans have already been heated.

Diffenbaugh explained that if every new power plant or factory in the world produced zero emissions, there would still be the impact from the existing infrastructure, and from gases already released.

He further said that there is no question that a climate in which every summer is hotter than the hottest of the last 20 years poses real risks for ecosystems across the globe but there are opportunities to decrease those risks, while also ensuring access to the benefits of energy consumption. (ANI)


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