Some climate scientists have warned that the Earth may have passed a critical climate “tipping point” that could lead to irreversible changes in the environment,media reported. As greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere continue to rise, the authors of a new study published in Nature on November 27th suggest that people start looking at harmful changes that scientists once thought would only happen at just 5 degrees on Earth.
“Ten years ago, we found a series of potential tipping points in the Earth system, and now we see evidence that more than half of them have been activated,” Tim Lenton, a climate scientist at the University of Exeter and lead author of the paper, said in a press release. “
The article speculates that these events may be moving much faster than previously thought, and that complex feedback loops can lead to a series of effects. For example, the loss of the Arctic ice sheet may increase the risk of slowing the Atlantic circulation, which can lead to heat and salt transfer around the ocean. As the Arctic ice sheet melts, the circulation begins to slow… Circulation slows, the Amazon may be affected, and The Antarctic waters will be affected. Part of this process may have begun.
The researchers agree that it is difficult to fully understand the extent of interactions between the many climate-affected systems on Earth, but one thing is certain: if business as usual, humans will face a warming of about 3 degrees. It is worth noting that the authors stress that the Earth’s climate was unstable on the tempors of time in the past, due to small changes in Earth’s orbit. Now, however, humans are strongly forcing the system into a state that has not been seen in millions of years.