According to a new report issued by scientists at the University of Hawaii, average temperatures across most of the planet are expected to rise to temperatures previously unparalleled by 2047. This report comes after the recently released IPCC's fifth assessment report, which came with some rather grim prognostications about the effects of climate change. Perhaps the most startling new finding is the immediacy of the problem. Both reports validate the long held belief that addressing the climate crisis must start now.
In a nutshell, the new report tells us that what had previously passed for high temperatures throughout the world could actually be standard lows in the next 34 years if current climate models are correct. These effects are more pronounced in the tropics, because of the rather low amounts of climate changeability. Because of this, the study concludes that low lying cities such as Mexico City, Lagos, and Jakarta could experience these climate trends in the next 15 to 20 years. That is quite disturbing.
When the IPCC released their fifth assessment report on climate change, there was hardly any media coverage, in some part due to vast amount of coverage given to the hullabaloo coming from Congress. Just try turning on a television to find out what is going on in the world, and you will find out rather quickly that nothing else seemingly matters. But the IPCC's report demands equal coverage.
After all, the IPCC, a panel of climate scientists coming from the best and brightest the field has to offer, can now say with 95% certainty (that number was 66% just 12 years ago) that anthropogenic climate change is real, and that sea levels are rising at a rapid rate. And in fact, some of these prognostications are conservative, meaning there are quite a few climate scientists that believe this report may be sugarcoating it. These cold hard facts present a very stark reality.
This new report coming out of the University of Hawaii reinforces the notion that this is not a problem that our grandchildren are going to have to contend with, it's a problem we all have to deal with. Maybe the grimmest aspect of this study is that its authors contend that these climate trends are likely to happen regardless of what action is taken and our best attempts merely amount to postponement. That's an even more alarming case for immediate action.