Former Director – United Nations Environment Program
Professor at the University of Bergen and the Center in Jerkennes
University lecturer in agriculture and climatic knowledge, Høyskolen i Innlandet
Whatever is a proven consequence of global warming of 2 degrees, gets worse at 3 degrees.
This is the topic of discussion. Opinions expressed in the text are at the author’s expense.
The Glasgow Climate Summit is underway. It is possible to stabilize global warming at 2 degrees, but what countries have promised so far will increase the temperature by about 3 degrees, according to the United Nations.
Then it is useful to know what the consequences of global warming of 2 and 3 degrees will be.
2 degree global warming is considered threshold between Climate change is dangerous and extremely dangerous to nature and humans.
Here are some of the major safety implications of a two-degree global warming:
How many will die?
What are the uncertain consequences of global warming of 2 degrees is what happens to people and countries in the tropics.
How many will die? How many hundreds of millions of climate refugees are suffering from a global warming of two degrees? Are we seeing many unstable states?
Will the Nordic countries with the best living conditions share their good lands with others, or will they close their borders?
Will leaders in tropical countries accept the death of millions of their inhabitants or that their lives are so miserable, or will they try to pressure the rich nations of the North with terror or war?
It is also uncertain what people in countries like Spain, Greece, or other countries in the subtropical belt will do when it comes to more heat, drought, wildfires and heat waves. How many will try to adapt, and how many will move north?
Big problems for everyone
Another uncertainty regarding 2 degree global warming is whether the large natural feedback mechanisms get a full start with additional emissions and a heat engine, or whether they remain quiescent.
It’s frightening that one of these key responses, the warming of the oceans and atmospheres due to the reduction of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, has already begun.
Pollution and the degradation of nature must stop
Norwegian and Finnish climate researchers have shown that a decrease in the amount of sea ice in the north and south has led to an increase in heat inputs corresponding to all greenhouse gas emissions from the European Union.
With global warming by two degrees, all people in all countries have big problems. If we could keep peace with each other and share good food and land, 9 billion people could live a good life.
Of course, this also assumes that all countries are able to adequately take care of nature. Pollution and degradation of nature must stop, and large grazing areas must be returned to nature and forests.
heating hazard 3 degrees
If we humans are not able to reduce emissions equally every year from now on, there is a huge risk of a warming of 3 degrees of global warming.
We can then have 3 degrees of global warming before 2100. Whatever is a sure consequence of 2 degrees of global warming would be Much worse at 3 degrees.
The sum of the confirmed results gives us the following summary of the world in 3 degrees: very few people live in tropical countries, and it would be difficult to live and make a living in large parts of southern Europe, southern United States, the Middle East, China and Australia. The main feedback mechanisms are in full swing:
- The melting of methane hydrates and the tundra in the north is producing large and unstoppable emissions of methane and carbon dioxide.
- Nature releases more carbon dioxide than it needs to.
- Vast areas of land and seas that were formerly covered with reflective ice and snow now provide increased warming.
- The increased temperature gave much more water vapor to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
It then becomes difficult to prevent further warming of the planet even if human greenhouse gas emissions are at zero.
In a world of 3 degrees, it takes a lot for the people living at the time, to be able to share resources and live in peace with each other, in the relatively small areas of the world with usable living conditions: the northern United States, Alaska, Canada, northern Europe, Nordic countries, Russia, southern parts of South America and Australia, as well as New Zealand.
In short: stopping global warming at two degrees is possible. Then we provide a difficult but liveable climate for all people – provided we can live in peace and share food and resources.
If we got 3 degrees of global warming, the number of people in the world would be much less than it is today. The living conditions of those who stayed will be very limited.
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