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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Climate change could destroy mankind by 2050

We have known for a long time that global warming is jeopardising the future of humanity on planet Earth. However, a new study about the survival chances of the human species paints a bleaker picture than seen ever before: unless we do everything to avoid such a fate, we could be on the brink of extinction in 30 years.

The report, published by the Australian organisation Breakthrough National Center for Climate Restoration and written by climate researchers David Spratt and Ian Dunlop paints a dark future for mankind unless we are able to curb the consequences of climate change in the next three decades.

“After nuclear war, human-induced global warming is the greatest threat to human life on the planet,”

said Chris Barrie, former head of the Australian Defence Force, in the foreword to the paper. Although he doesn’t believe that destruction of human civilization is unavoidable, he does claim that avoiding it requires immediate action.

The study has used the results of previous research to model potential scenarios – of which the most pessimistic one is more than alarming. If the global temperature was to rise by 3 °C relative to the period before the industrial revolution, the consequences would be dire:

  • On 35% of Earth’s land area (currently home to 55 percent of the human population) heat waves that are physiologically incompatible with human survival would last 20 days a year.
  • In West Africa, South America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, there would be more than 100 days a year of deadly heat, which would mean that more than a billion people would have to move from those areas.
  • Rising water levels would erase many cities around the world.
  • Food production would collapse due to the drastic decline of insect populations that play an important role in agriculture, the climate becoming unsuitable for plant cultivation and chronic water shortages.
  • Many large ecosystems of the world (the Arctic, Amazonia and the coral reefs) would also collapse.

This is not the only recent study that has reached the conclusion that a global catastrophe developing as a result of the climate crisis is a realistic possibility. The autumn 2018 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the March 2019 UN report also made similar predictions.

A snapshot of the People’s Climate March in Washington in April 2017 Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: CNN

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