As Earth is facing the worst-case scenario, the future might be more critical, scientists warn us.
Severe disruptions to our planet’s climate thousands of years that triggered mass ice cap melting and abrupt sea-level rise are now warnings for today’s climate tipping points. Scientists worldwide are urging people to support the scientific field and raise awareness about Earth’s bleak future.
Here is what you need to know.
Past Climate Events Serve As a Warning System
Climate tipping points are thresholds past which huge and fast changes to the natural world might happen. The worst thing: they’re also irrevocable over centuries or more.
An international team of scientists came up with quite the method to analyze two major issues in our planet’s system, triggered by changes in rainfall, oceans, and ice patterns. The results are genuinely intriguing.
Scientists examined the circumstances that led to the African humid period, approximately 6,000-5,000 years ago, and the Bolling-Allerod warming event, around 15,000 years ago.
Tim Lenton is the director of the University of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute and the review co-author of the new paper. He released a statement explaining how significant is Earth’s past:
“Earth’s recent past shows us how abrupt changes in the Earth system triggered cascading impact on ecosystems and human societies, as they struggled to adapt.”
The team discovered that different past climate systems, including rainfall and ocean dynamics patterns, managed to slow as they approached a tipping point right after failing to recover from distress. Such findings are indeed shocking yet intriguing.
That also shows that the impacts of ancient severe changes to our planet’s system connected and brought planet-wide disruption. And any modifications to ocean currents and ice levels at the begging of the Bolling-Allerod warming event, for example, triggered low ocean oxygen levels, atmospheric CO2 and methane levels, and vegetation cover.
Analyzing such changes and tipping points is now extremely necessary to see how Earth’s future is shaped.