Planet Earth at risk of entering irreversible 'hothouse' condition

Part of the Wayoh Reservoir near Bolton has been left parched by the UK heatwave

"Knowledge is power - the more we know the more possibilities to manage it to our positive outcome (we have, )" she said.

"It makes yet another great case for taking serious action now - we've got to start reducing emissions immediately, because this could be down the pipeline. and it would be terrifically bad news if it was".

A Hothouse Earth would pose "severe risks for health, economies, political stability, and ultimately, the habitability of the planet for humans", the global scientists wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Climate scientists have known about and been deeply concerned about "self-reinforcing feedbacks" or "positive feedbacks" for years. Eventually, the rainforest turns into a savanna and releases the carbon stored in its biomass.

Scientists have warned that Earth's global temperature is just one degree away from a climatic tipping point that threatens the future of humanity. And so on it goes.

The study describes a set of interconnected mechanisms, including the melting of the ice caps, the dieback of forests, and the risk of permafrost thaw in Russian Federation and Canada releasing 15 years of human emissions of CO 2 and methane at once.

Another feedback mechanism would be how the melting of the Arctic disrupts the so-called "Atlantic ocean conveyor belt" which is also deeply concerning scientists. The agreement pushed signatories to work together to keep temperatures from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Sea levels would rise considerably due to melted polar ice caps. Everything is inter-connected.

"Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of [3.6 degrees] may trigger other Earth system processes, often called 'feedbacks, ' that can drive further warming - even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases", the study's lead author Will Steffen said, according to USA Today.

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"Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene", the study says.

"If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies", the study said.

"A Hothouse Earth trajectory would nearly certainly flood deltaic environments, increase the risk of damage from coastal storms, and eliminate coral reefs.by the end of this century or earlier", the study says.

"Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if "Hothouse Earth" becomes the reality", said co-author Johan Rockstrom, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

"If we go past two degrees, then we risk triggering a cascade of these tipping points that could push us all the way to the hothouse earth..."

"We are the ones in control right now, but once we go past 2 degrees, we see that the Earth system tips over from being a friend to a foe". However, there are no binding targets, and the U.S. later pulled out, dealing a blow to global efforts to form a united front against climate change.

How realistic is "Hothouse Earth"?

If summer heat waves such as those now being experienced in Europe become standard, then comfort cooling will play a crucial role in keeping safe the most vulnerable sections of the population, such as the elderly and young children. Several positive feedback loops are already in operation, but they are still weak.

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