What is the verdict of scientists to stop climate change?

What are scientists’ opinions and what has been agreed to fight climate change?

Scientists and top climate specialists expressed their dissatisfaction with the outcome of COP26, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, which took place this month in Glasgow.

The fact that governments agreed to meet again next year to guarantee further emissions reduction was praised by experts contacted by the BBC.

They also applauded forest and innovation agreements, as well as reductions in methane emissions from fossil fuel extraction and livestock production.

Scientists, on the other hand, are concerned that politicians will not follow through on their commitments. They also argue that the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is too modest.

Experts point out that the global temperature has risen by 1.1°C on average so far, putting the world in a dangerous condition of warming, with record temperatures, forest fires, floods, and droughts.

Professor David King, a former top science advisor to the UK government, told me: “Global warming, of course, is already dangerously high. Summer temperatures in the polar areas were 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit). The forests were engulfed in flames.”

“Even if we entirely stopped emissions, the amount of greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere would put us in a tough situation.”

Piers Forster, main author of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s August report, had a similar message (IPCC).

“At present temperatures, people are already dying and animals are going extinct,” Forster added. “We will already be locked into centuries of sea level rise.”

“1.5 °C has become the talisman of the century’s safest temperatures. However, as we understand more, we recognize that there is no such thing as a safe limit (for emissions) “Forster continued.

The COP has provided some practical solutions, according to the experts we spoke with.

COP26

It’s a relief that, after 22 previous COPs, the need to phase out fossil fuels is finally mentioned, however it’s disappointing that India and China diluted the coal compromise text at the last minute. Furthermore, there is widespread concern that politicians will not follow through on their pledges.

The meeting yielded “mixed outcomes,” according to Professor Gail Whiteman, founder of Arctic Basecamp, a network of Arctic scientists.

“There are a lot of excellent promises on the table, but will they be followed through? I’m not sure. I’m concerned, “Whiteman made a point.

“On the plus side, the coalition of civil society, business, finance, NGOs, and others surrounding COP26 is starting to drive real progress,” said Professor Tim Lenton of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter in England.

“However, we are still on track to warm by more than 2°C, putting several climate tipping points (points at which a system begins to behave in a fundamentally different way with no way back to initial conditions) at risk.”

“We are still in the midst of a climate crisis,” Lenton stated emphatically.

He went on to say, “We all need to encourage our political leaders to join us in a big shift.”

“Changes in the climate system are progressing faster than the international policy process.”

Climate scientists are concerned about the gap between policy, action, and science.

For example, the United Kingdom is regarded as a global leader in environmental issues, and has set a national goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

The UK government, on the other hand, has continuously fallen short of its past climate change targets. While it is praised for regulations such as phased-out conventional cars, it has not implemented significant adjustments to minimize emissions at home, such as improved insulating materials and more efficient heating systems.

The British government also wants to increase the number of flights despite the advice of its own advisors, is approving a new oil field near the Shetland Islands in the North Atlantic, and is moving forward with the contentious HS2 project, which calls for the construction of a 500-kilometer high-speed rail line connecting London to several cities.

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, to the surprise of scientists, did not address climate change when proposing a new budget on the eve of COP26.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson maintains that carbon reductions can only be achieved through technological advancements, with little or no change in people’s behavior.

This contradicts the UK government’s own Climate Change Advisory Committee, which claims that meeting 2030 emissions reduction objectives will require a combination of both factors.

In the United States, comparable “entanglements” exist at the policy level. President Joe Biden is still lobbying Congress to pass his environmental legislation.

His trillion-dollar infrastructure plan for roads, bridges, airports, and ports will emit millions of tons of greenhouse emissions since it will necessitate the production of vast quantities of concrete and steel. In the future, the upgraded infrastructure will allow for increased traffic.

At COP26, Biden led a deal to cut methane emissions, but he did not match Johnson’s vow on conventional cars. Even still, Americans continue to purchase large SUVs.

According to US climate envoy John Kerry, if countries properly focus their efforts on attaining it, temperature rise might be limited to 1.8 degrees Celsius. However, scientists argue that this goal is “too little, too late.”

“We may still avert bigger climate change impacts with greater ambition,” Professor Richard Betts of the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre told me.

“However, until we cease accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the climate will continue to warm, posing increasingly serious risks and consequences.”

Professor of climate science at the University of Reading, Ed Hawkins, issued a warning: “There’s an incline, and we’re already going down it. The less severe the effects will be the sooner we stop sliding through deep, sustained, and prompt reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Julian Allwood, a professor of engineering and the environment at Cambridge University, has a more pressing question.

The solutions considered in Glasgow, according to Allwood, rely on obtaining unachievable levels of renewable power, carbon capture technologies, and biomass burning.

“There is no way of getting to those predicted magnitudes if you compare those numbers with what is available today, even allowing for any realistic growth rate.”

“As a result, new rules are required, such as halving electricity use. Flights, transportation, cement manufacturing, and the amount of ruminant animals must all be reduced because there is no other way to cope with them.”

It’s an undesirable message for politicians who wish to stabilize the environment by making minimal changes to the current policies.

Article Author Gerluxe  Image: Yahoo News