– Almost impossible – Dagsavisen

– Almost impossible – Dagsavisen

– Researchers feel frustrated. This has been said long enough. The UN Climate Commission received the Peace Prize a few years ago. Three years ago, the Nobel Prize in Physics went to two climate scientists. What else can one do to be heard?

This is what environmental expert and professor at the University of Bergen, Asger Sorteberg, says.

– What's the point of 35 years of a lot of research when no one takes it seriously?

Frustrating, terrifying and overwhelming

The British newspaper The Guardian recently conducted a to examine They spoke to 380 of the world's leading climate scientists. As many as 77 percent of researchers believe the Earth will be at least 2.5 degrees warmer on average by 2100. And 42 percent believe it will be more than three degrees warmer. According to the newspaper. Only six percent believe the world can reach the 1.5 degree target agreed by the 196 countries that signed the Paris Agreement.

All participants in the Guardian survey work with the UN Climate Panel, also known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

in a report The report, published by the World Economic Forum earlier this year, looks like the world will likely find itself above a 2.7°C increase over pre-industrial times until 2100. The report, which is based on the conclusions of the UN climate panel, He believes that such climate changes are likely to lead to 14.5 million deaths on a global basis, and an economic loss of up to 12.5 trillion US dollars.

According to The Guardian, there was fear of famine, mass migration, war and conflict among researchers.

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One expert told the newspaper that it is frustrating, frightening and confusing.

“I'm grateful I don't have kids,” said another.

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Big consequences

Sorteberg, who has also worked with the UN climate panel, says he also believes the 2°C target will be difficult to meet.

– In the Paris Agreement, it stipulates that we must work to achieve the 1.5 degree target, which is a political ambition. It is quite clear now that this would be almost impossible. The two degree Celsius target will also be very difficult. This includes, among other things, sea level rise as it is uncertain how quickly it will rise when Greenland experiences a 2 degree rise. As the temperature rises by approximately one and a half to two degrees, for example, food production, which is highly adapted to the different regions in which we do so, will be affected. He says that with rapid changes, it will be difficult to have a food production system like it is now.

In addition, Sorteberg describes more frequent weather phenomena such as heat waves.

He says that as temperatures rise by two or three degrees, there will be many places in the world where it will no longer be possible to live.

-You will also encounter surprises along the way. In 2003, we experienced a heat wave. It has become much broader than we have ever seen before. Counting up after the heatwave, there were between 50 and 70,000 additional deaths over a two-week period in Europe. If you had asked a researcher how many people would die in such a heat wave in Europe, a fairly recent part of the world, no one would have come close to that number, Sorteberg says.

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– How can you prepare for something like this?

– Ultimately, we take measures when we encounter something, so we protect ourselves from it next time. But when new problems keep arising, it becomes difficult to prepare.

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Lack of work

– Do you think a temperature rise of 2.5-3 degrees could happen?

– I think it might be realistic, yes. They actually started in the 1990s to reduce greenhouse gases. Now we have so little time that it becomes very difficult to achieve political goals. Sooner or later, Sorteberg says, there may also be changes so large and brutal that one has to ask oneself whether society can cope with the reduction of greenhouse gases in such a short time.

– It appears that the train has reached the 1.5 degree target. And that's what climate scientists feel like here. The frustration that has raged over the past 30 or 35 years is spreading. People have been saying this for a long time, screaming and shouting, and you can see that politicians are unable to keep their promises. Even with the promises already made, it will be problematic.

He points out that Norway has promised to reduce its emissions by 50 percent, but we, like many other countries, are lagging far behind.

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Facts about climate change

  • The Earth is gradually becoming warmer, and the average global temperature in the last ten years has been 1.2 degrees higher than the pre-industrial level.
  • The temperature made an unusually large jump in 2023, when the average temperature was more than 1.4 degrees higher than in pre-industrial times.
  • There is no doubt that human activity is causing global temperature to rise, according to the United Nations Climate Panel (IPCC).
  • The temperature rise is mainly due to emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases that enhance the natural greenhouse effect of the atmosphere.
  • Emissions arise from burning coal, oil and gas, deforestation, agricultural and industrial processes.
  • Since the early 1990s, the international community has negotiated measures to reduce climate emissions. However, global emissions continue to rise.
  • Global warming is leading to more intense heat waves, new rainfall patterns, and more frequent droughts and flood disasters in many parts of the world.
  • In addition, glaciers are melting, and sea levels are rising. A number of countries face the risk of increased migration and agricultural problems. Many species of animals and plants may eventually become extinct.

(Sources: World Meteorological Organization, IPCC, NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Copernicus, NTB)

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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