What will you be doing in 2050? To highlight how much time that is, if you were born today, you'll be 31 years old in 2050. The first Avengers film would be almost 40 years old. The Beatles' first album will be 87 years old. You'll also probably be living through a climate catastrophe that will end human civilization, according to some scientists.
We've all heard of various end-of-times theories but none more existentially fraught than this one (which is backed up by actual science). According to analysts at the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, human civilization will end in just 30 years as a result of climate change if the current trends go unchecked.
Unmitigated climate catastrophes are unfortunately the new norm. With more and more extreme weather events predicted in the coming years, people should be on high alert, yet, somehow, no one really is.
From unseasonal forest fires, tornadoes, and flash flooding to crops not growing and the continuous pollution of our oceans, climate change is affecting everything we do. Scientists say that this is an existential risk never before seen in human history.
We sent one of our reporters to speak with a Climate Change expert here in Montreal to weigh in on the state of human impact on the planet.
The Australian-based thinktank released their report to little fanfare but the results of their findings are certainly troubling. According to the study, scientists find that if world leaders maintain their business-as-usual approach, 2050 will be a "devastating year for the majority of ecosystems."
According to a presented scenario, if the Paris Agreement doesn't reach its goal, our planet will lock in at over 3°C of warming. Scientists generally agree that a 4°C warming would be catastrophic and irreversible. This is what they're predicting will happen by 2050.
One professor, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, warns that “climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences."
While political parties are debating whether or not climate change even exists, actual scientists are doing the hard work to investigate the outlook of our futures. We're pretty much screwed if the scientists expect the politicians to do anything about this, though.
The report outlines what will happen if their estimations are correct and the current path continues. It's not encouraging.
- West Antarctic ice sheet, the Greenland ice sheet, and the Arctic ice sheet will cease to be, raising global sea levels by 25 metres or more.
- 35% of the global land area will be underwater.
- 55% of the global population will experience 20 days a year of lethal heat conditions.
- The Amazon Rainforest will be in permanent drought and die.
- The Jet Stream and the Gulf Stream will destabilize, unleashing storms and weather events of biblical proportions in the most populated regions on Earth.
- 30% of the world's land surface will become a desert, with most of the damage happening in southern Africa, the Middle East, the southern Mediterranian, and the south-western United States.
- The coral reefs will collapse and along with them, millions of species that are crucial to ocean health.
- Over one billion people will need to be relocated, unleashing a humanitarian and refugee crisis on a world already on fire.
Round, flat, in a dome, whatever you believe – we only have one Earth. This isn't a movie and we won't be rescued by some deus ex machina. This is real and this is dire.
The report states that climate change "now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat to human civilization." Do we really have to let ourselves get to that point?
To read the complete report from the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, click here.