UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY SCIENCE) — In recent years, experts report with alarming frequency about climate changes and make not the most optimistic, but sometimes even frankly pessimistic forecasts.
But humanity still has a chance to make a difference.
Researchers from Australia, the USA and South Africa prepared a report in which they provided an analysis of climate data for the last 40 years, as well as environmental and economic factors that are changing life on our planet.
In light of the data collected, the team declared a climate emergency.
However, in a document published in Bioscience magazine, experts not only analyze the situation, but also propose concrete measures that politicians, businessmen and individuals can take to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
This report was signed by more than 11 thousand experts from 153 countries: all of them joined together in a collaboration called the Alliance of World Scientists.
“Scientists have a moral obligation to warn humanity of any serious threat,” said study co-author Thomas Newsome of the University of Sydney. “It’s clear from our data that we are facing a climate emergency. So far, everything is bad, but not hopeless . We can take steps to solve this problem.”
According to the scientist, monitoring global temperatures should remain a priority in climate research.
“However, it is necessary to monitor a wider range of indicators, including population growth, meat consumption, loss of forest cover, energy consumption, fossil fuel subsidies and annual economic losses from extreme weather events,” Newsom said.
His research team identified six key areas in which to act decisively to slow the onset of the effects of global warming.
The essence of the “energy plan” is to switch from fossil fuels to renewable sources as quickly as possible . This means that the resources available today must remain in the ground, no matter how tempting the opportunity to use them is.
According to experts, government subsidies for enterprises operating on fossil fuels should be abolished. For the carbon emissions will charge, and high enough that the use of fossil fuels become unprofitable. At the same time, more developed and richer countries should help the less “prosperous” in this difficult transitional period.
In addition to this, it is necessary to purify the atmosphere of carbon as actively as possible and to reduce its emissions – both with the help of new technologies , and by restoring natural CO 2 sinks , such as forests.
Carbon dioxide is not the only dangerous pollutant that creates a greenhouse effect. There are others, such as methane, carbon black and hydrofluorocarbons. They do not linger in the atmosphere for as long as CO 2, but can do even more damage.
According to experts, by reducing emissions of these “short-lived” pollutants, humanity will be able to reduce the tendency to warm by as much as 50% over several decades.
Moreover, with improved air quality, productivity should increase.
Not so long ago, environmentalists recognized the onset of the era of the sixth mass extinction . Vesti.Nauka (nauka.vesti.ru) has repeatedly talked about the decline in populations of a wide variety of animal species and the changes occurring in various ecosystems, from tropical to arctic .
Experts are sure: measures to protect flora and fauna will help not only to preserve the biodiversity of the planet, but also prevent pollution of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.
In particular, existing forests need to be maintained, and reforestation and planting of new trees should be carried out on a global scale.
According to the team, only these measures will help to reduce carbon emissions so as to meet the obligations stated in the Paris Climate Agreement by one third.
It is proved that the so-called Western diet harms not only human health , but also the environment . For example, the growing consumption of meat is associated with an increase in the number of cattle, which is one of the main sources of methane emissions into the atmosphere.
The authors of the report are convinced that reducing global consumption of meat and other animal products is the key to reducing emissions of “short-lived” pollutants, as well as to freeing land for reforestation.
New technologies, such as the creation of meat “in vitro” , as well as alternatives in the form of products of plant ( and not only ) origin, will help people accustomed to a meat diet to adjust their diets.
In addition, measures to reduce food waste must be strengthened . According to researchers, today at least a third of all food produced is turned into garbage .
Economic factors can greatly affect environmental depletion.
The fact is that today the economy is highly dependent on fossil fuels – mainly because of the reluctance of the industrial sector to abandon this energy resource.
The authors of the report believe that in order to save the planet, governments need to change priorities: instead of relentlessly pursuing high GDP and incomes, pay attention to human needs and reduce fossil fuel production and ecosystem exploitation.
Today, the world’s population is increasing by more than 200 thousand people a day, or 80 million people a year. According to UN estimates, by the end of the century it will reach 10.9 billion people.
At this rate, very soon we will face hunger, depletion of resources and other global problems.
The only way out is to stabilize the population of the planet, reducing fertility. This requires a policy that ensures access for all sectors of the population to family planning services, as well as to education.
By the way, some scientists believe that such measures will not help overcome environmental problems in the short term, but our great-great-grandchildren will feel the benefits of such changes.
The authors hope that their report will draw more attention to global issues and allow politicians and the public to understand the magnitude of the crisis and change priorities.
“The fact that more than 11,000 scientists have signed the document, of course, should be considered as an indication of the seriousness of this problem, – said Professor Carolyn Sullivan ( by Caroline Sullivan ) from Australia’s University of Southern Cross. This is not just some anti neftyanaya promotion or message from Greenpeace. The comprehensive analysis presented in this document leaves no room for doubt. We must take this warning into account.”
We add that the document, published in the public domain , contains graphs illustrating how indicators and factors of climate change have changed over the past 40 years – since scientists from 50 countries met at the first World Climate Conference in Geneva in 1979.
This science article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS SCIENCE from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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