Why I’m Not Worried About Global Warming — Now That the Numbers Have Changed
The numbers are starting to add up for those who worry about global warming.
In fact, they are adding up to be an enormous threat to our lives, the economy and our future.
The World Bank, for example, found in a recent report that in 2021, global temperature rises are expected to exceed those from the 1970s and 1980s by 2.3 degrees Celsius, with more extreme weather events and more extreme precipitation events.
In contrast, the average global temperature rise is 1.7 degrees.
And global sea levels have risen by about 2 feet, or about 7 inches.
The report also notes that the “possibility of a significant and sustained increase in global temperature is more than three times greater than the probability that temperatures would decrease by two degrees Celsius by 2100.”
Those are serious numbers.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expects to release its fourth assessment in 2021 that will focus on the effects of climate change on humanity.
Its most recent report, released last year, found that there is “no compelling evidence” that we are in the midst of a global warming crisis, and that the risks are “large enough to trigger severe and widespread economic harm.”
The IPCC also notes: “Current projections of rising CO2 emissions, particularly from transport, have been exceeded by about 1.3 billion metric tons of CO2 per year by 2030.”
And it’s not just the United States.
In the first quarter of 2021, more than 1.4 billion metric ton of CO3 was emitted in the U.S., a nearly 20 percent increase over the same period last year.
The IPCC notes that “this increase in emissions is likely to lead to significant increases in both greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations and their concentrations in the atmosphere.”
So, why are these numbers so scary?
The answer lies in what’s known as the “carbon cycle,” which refers to how carbon dioxide (CO2) is stored in the Earth’s atmosphere.
When we burn fossil fuels, that carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere, where it is absorbed by plants and animals.
And as we produce more CO2, the plants and other creatures absorb more of it, causing them to grow larger and stronger.
But the CO2 that is released from burning fossil fuels also absorbs energy from the sun.
So, as we continue to burn fossil fuel, more of that carbon is trapped in the ground, and the CO 2 can’t escape and be released back into the atmosphere.
As a result, CO2 levels in the air are rising faster than the rate of emissions.
As the carbon cycle continues, the more CO 2 we’re releasing, the hotter it gets.
And because CO2 has a “storey” effect on the climate, the longer it takes the atmosphere to warm, the warmer it gets and the more dangerous it is.
So what we’re seeing is that global temperatures are rising and that is putting more CO, and CO2 in the oceans, causing ocean acidification, which is increasing ocean acidity and potentially leading to the extinction of some species.
This is a real threat.
There are other threats to our economy, too.
As we see more CO emissions and more sea level rise, we’ll see more of the carbon that we burn released into the air and in the ocean, and eventually into the soil, which will further damage the soil and water.
The oceans are already seeing a buildup of carbon in the system, but if we don’t address this carbon cycle sooner, the oceans are going to get a lot worse, too, as carbon-rich plants and creatures are released into our atmosphere.
And that will have major impacts for agriculture, industry and the climate. If we don�t have a response, we could see some of the worst impacts from climate change happening much earlier than we thought possible.
The good news is that we can make a change to stop this from happening, but it takes a concerted effort by the public and policymakers to make this happen.
The bad news is, however, that we have a long way to go to make a difference.
As I write this, we’re still seeing CO2 increases that will make it difficult to prevent the next big one from happening.
And with that, we return to our annual Forecast of the Year series.
Forecast Your Future This year, we have our first annual Forecaster of the Future series, which covers some of our most important trends and events that we think will have the most long-term effects.
It’s a great opportunity to look at the future and take stock of what we know about our world and the future we are heading toward.
This year we’re taking a look at climate change.
Our first forecast of the future is for climate change to continue.
We’ve already seen that climate change is already having an impact on the planet, but the real damage is likely coming as the planet warms and becomes more acidic, which could be disastrous for