A new study warns that as global temperatures continue to rise, we are moving dangerously close to the “climate finale”.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge argue that global warming could lead to a financial crisis or pandemic at extinction levels by 2070.
Based on their findings, the researchers urge the authorities to start preparing for such events.
Dr Luke Kemp, lead author of the study, said: “There are many reasons to believe that climate change could be catastrophic even with moderate levels of warming.”
Climate change has played a role in every mass extinction. He helped bring down empires and change history. Even the modern world seems adapted to one or another climatic environment.
And disaster pathways are not limited to the direct impact of rising temperatures, such as extreme weather events. Side effects such as financial crises, conflicts and outbreaks of new diseases can lead to other disasters and make recovery from potential disasters more difficult.
In the study, the team used simulations to estimate the effects of a warming of 3°C (5.4°F) or more.
By 2070, they estimate that 2 billion people will live in heat-extreme areas with average annual temperatures above 29°C (84°F).
“The average annual temperature of 29 degrees currently affects about 30 million people in the desert and Gulf Coast,” said co-author Chi Shu of Nanjing University.
The researchers suggest that research is needed in four key areas, which they call the “Four Horsemen” in the climate endgame: hunger, extreme weather, conflict and disease.
“We need a multidisciplinary effort to understand how climate change can lead to widespread disease and massive human deaths,” said study co-author Professor Christy Ibe of the University of Washington.
Global food supplies are under threat from rising temperatures, the researchers say, with the risk of a “breadbasket blowout” rising as the world’s most agriculturally productive regions suffer “massive collapses.”
More extreme weather conditions can also create conditions for the spread of new diseases as habitats for humans and wildlife change and shrink.
Co-author Professor Johann Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: “The more we know about how our planet works, the more there is cause for concern. We are increasingly realizing that our planet is a more complex and fragile organism. We must calculate the catastrophe to avoid it.”
Source: Daily Mail