That’s why firing bullets from a gun is more dangerous than tossing them by hand. Why skydivers use parachutes. Why roads have speed limits. And why it’s critical to understand how quickly human activity will drive the climate to change, compared with past rates. Will we cause gradual shifts that civilization and life on Earth can adapt to — or are we igniting a wildfire that can’t be outrun?
Two years ago, an influential self-published paper entitled, “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating the Climate Tragedy,” written by Jem Bendell, suggested that we were too late to save the world. Yet, in their rebuttal to Deep Adaptation, researchers Galen Hall and Tom Nicholas argue, “The fundamental battle in climate change right now is whether or not we can understand it as a primarily political struggle — rather than a scientific or natural struggle — and then win that struggle,” Mr. Hall said. “Deep Adaptation or fatalism in general is just one way of depoliticizing it because it puts everything up to inhuman forces.”
Parts of the world economy may have been on pause during 2020, dampening greenhouse gas emissions for a while. But that didn’t slow the overall buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which reached its highest level in millions of years.
As biomedical scientists continue to battle the deadly pandemic this year to help the world return to normalcy, researchers across the disciplines still aim to hit big milestones or launch new projects despite the challenges brought by COVID-19. European scientists will also have to contend with the aftermath of Brexit. Many U.S. scientists, in contrast, have a more hopeful political outlook, with some likely to play an invigorated role in tackling another global crisis, climate change, after President-elect Joe Biden, who has vowed to make it a top priority, is sworn in this month. In this article, Science’s news staff forecasts areas of research and policy we expect to make headlines this year, from protecting the high seas’ biodiversity to probing how ancient humans interacted.
The threshold for dangerous global warming will likely be crossed between 2027 and 2042 – a much narrower window than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s estimate of between now and 2052. In a study published in Climate Dynamics, researchers from McGill University introduce a new and more precise way to project the Earth’s temperature. Based on historical data, it considerably reduces uncertainties compared to previous approaches.
The world is getting warmer, but the global response has “remained muted” despite efforts like the Paris Climate Agreement — and millions of lives are at risk as a result. This according to a report published Wednesday by The Lancet, a leading peer-reviewed medical journal.
All signs are pointing to 2021 being a year of unusual uncertainty. The great prize on offer is the chance of bringing the coronavirus pandemic under control. But in the meantime risks abound, to health, economic vitality and social stability. As 2021 approaches, this article details the ten trends to watch in the year ahead.
There is a growing consensus that climate change may present a systemic risk to financial markets. This assessment is shared by, for example, the Network for Greening the Financial System, the Bank for International Settlements, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), and the Market Risk Advisory Committee to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to name a few.
If Arctic sea ice vanishes in summers by the middle of the century as expected, the world could see a vicious circle that drives enough global warming to almost wipe out the impact of China going carbon neutral.