Scientists: Earth will still turn into the “greenhouse”

To keep global warming within 1.5-2 degrees Celsius can be much more complex than previously thought, according to a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). An international team of scientists found that even in the case of compliance with all the terms of the Paris agreement on climate, the average temperature on the planet will be higher by 4-5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. In the result, the planet can turn into a “greenhouse”, and a large number of regions will simply uninhabitable.

The Paris climate agreement was signed in December 2015. He was joined by 195 countries, including Russia. States agreed to take measures to prevent the increase in average temperature on Earth by more than two degrees Celsius by the year 2100. Currently, the average temperature on Earth by about 1 degree Celsius exceeds show the pre-industrial level and increases by 0.17 degree Celsius for each subsequent decade. According to lead study author will Steffen from the Australian national University, even when the target temperature is maintained, the probability of turning the Earth into a “greenhouse”.

“Emissions of greenhouse gases are not the only factor affecting global warming. Our study shows that human-induced global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, even in the event of termination of emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, can trigger the running of other processes on Earth, often called “response” that will eventually lead to an even greater increase in the average temperature of the planet,” says will Steffen.

“To avoid such a scenario, humanity must redirect its activities from exclusively operating in the direction of the earth’s temperate control system”.

According to scientists, due to human activities in nature occur other irreversible processes that can contribute to further warming of the atmosphere. Including thawing of permafrost, the rise of methane from the ocean floor, reducing the volume absorbed by land and ocean carbon intensity growth bacterial respiration in the oceans, the reduction of forests in the Amazon basin, the reduction of snow cover in the Northern hemisphere, the decrease of the ice mass in the Arctic summer, as well as the reduction of the polar ice sheets.

“All of these elements act like falling dominoes. One Domino falls and it knocks all the others behind. Will be very difficult or even impossible to stop the fall of a number of. If the Earth will turn into a “greenhouse”, many regions will simply uninhabitable,” adds study co-author Johan Rockstrom from the Potsdam Institute of studying of climate change.

Scientists say that to minimize the effects should not only reduce emissions, but also to create natural reservoirs for carbon storage through plantation, soil conservation and biodiversity. You also need to develop new technology for absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it underground, experts say.

The researchers suggest that these processes will become irreversible overcoming of a certain planetary “threshold stress”. While experts are not yet ready to definitely answer the question, where will be the point of the climatic equilibrium.

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