Their Solution and Ours
We draw close to the end of 2023 in a state of ever worsening environmental crisis. CO2 levels are now at record levels, reaching an all-time peak of 424 parts per million in May of this year. We reached a global average temperature record on 3 July 2023. Antarctic sea ice was at its lowest point on record this year. On top of this, we are facing a number of potentially catastrophic tipping points that could cause runaway climate change and environmental breakdown. A Nature Communications study on the Gulf Stream estimates that a collapse could “occur around mid-century under the current scenario of future emissions. The Gulf stream, or Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), is vital in regulating the climate system and its collapse would have “severe impacts on the climate in the North Atlantic region”. Another tipping point is the potential fallout from methane released as a result of melting permafrost in the rapidly reducing polar ice caps. There is potential for methane gas equivalent to 205 gigatons of carbon dioxide to be released, provoking a temperature rise of up to 0.5°C.
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