Earth Could Face 'Hothouse' Climate With Uninhabitable Parts, New Study Warns

Experts have warned that swathes of the planet could be left uninhabitable

"The impacts of a hothouse earth pathway on human societies would likely be massive, sometimes abrupt, and undoubtedly disruptive".

If that happened, swathes of the planet around the equator will become uninhabitable, with sea levels up to 60 metres (197ft) higher than they are today threatening coastal cities.

That's the alarming warning from an worldwide team of scientists, including Australian National University professor Will Steffen, in a study published on Tuesday.

A team of scientists showed that even if the carbon emission reductions called for in the Paris Agreement are met, there is a risk of Earth entering what the scientists call "Hothouse Earth" conditions.

Large parts of Eastern Australia are battling drought.

The findings show that the Earth's temperature is already half way there.

By comparison, Earth's current average temperature is a little more than 1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial average and rising at 0.17 degrees Celsius per decade.

With Arctic ice and glaciers melting away; increasingly powerful and frequent storms in the Atlantic and Pacific; coral reefs dying from warming oceans; record-setting wildfires in the USA; unprecedented heatwaves in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere-climate researchers have been at the forefront of sounding the alarms about the frightening path humanity is now following.

If humans cause the earth's global average temperature to increase by a further 1 degree Celsius, the world could face a "hothouse" climate and trigger further warming - even when all human emissions cease, an worldwide study has found.

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Experts have said that the planet is just decades away from the event that would trigger runaway global warming.

This report is the latest in a long line of reports suggesting these tipping points could be triggered but what they are suggesting is that even at 2C we are not necessarily at a safe threshold.

Climate change will see temperatures rise 4C-5C higher than regular temperatures causing a "severe risks for health, economies, political stability, and ultimately, the habitability of the planet for humans".

Scientists have published their report on 6 August, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, right while the world was struggling to face the heatwaves.

These include the degrading of the biosphere, permafrost thaw, and loss of Arctic summer sea ice, all possibilities when temperatures rise.

"A 2ºC warming could activate important tipping elements, raising the temperature further to activate other tipping elements in a domino-like cascade that could take the Earth System to even higher temperatures", claimed the report.

Scientists have warned that Earth's global temperature is just one degree away from a climatic tipping point that threatens the future of humanity.

Rockström added that stopping the "whole row of dominoes from tumbling over" will be either hard, or impossible, and that "if Hothouse Earth becomes the reality", some places on Earth will be uninhabitable.



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