JUL 25, 2019 6:45 PM PDT

Climate doomsday: 18 months away

Last year we thought we had twelve years to save the planet from a climate doomsday. Now it seems we may only have 18 months.

A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published last year announced, thus spurring a rush of hysteria, that to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C this century, emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 45% by 2030. In other words, in 2018, we had merely 12 years to act to save ourselves and the planet we call home.

Not anymore.

According to more and more key climate scientists and politicians, the coming 18 months seem to be a more realistic doomsday deadline. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and director emeritus of the Potsdam Climate Institute, commented: "The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can't be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020.”

Even the royal crown is in agreement: "I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival," said Prince Charles recently.

While the Paris climate accords committed the vast majority of the world to get the climate under check, we are scarily not at all on track to keeping temperature rise to 1.5C by 2100 – in fact, currently we’re heading dangerously toward 3C of heating by 2100.

In addition to all of the climate-driven natural disasters and geopolitical consequences that this will likely have, there is also huge concern over the issue of species extinction (much of which is directly affected by warming), especially after the IPBES report demonstrated earlier this year that up to one million species could be lost in coming decades.

What will our world look like in 20, 30, 50 years? Photo: Pixabay

While this all sounds quite depressing, don’t despair (at least not fully!) Around the world right now renewed environmental activism efforts are growing, and you can take part! Meanwhile, if you want to stay tuned to the political side of the climate crisis, make sure to be on the lookout for UN special climate summit held in New York on September 23; COP25 in Santiago, Chile; and COP26, which will take place at the end of 2020 (i.e. our deadline!).

Sources: BBC News

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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