Currently — February 1st, 2023

What you need to know, currently.

The planet could cross the critical global warming thresholds much sooner than expected even if emissions quickly decline, according to a recent study using machine learning.

In other words, climate change is happening coming faster than scientists and meteorologists predicted and time is running short to stop the worst effects from this intense heating.

Researchers at Stanford University and Colorado State University found that 1.5 degrees C of warming over industrial levels will likely be crossed in the next ten years. The study also revealed that the planet is on track to exceed 2C warming, which scientists have marked as a tipping point, with a 50 percent chance it would be met by mid-century.

“We have very clear evidence of the impact on different ecosystems from the 1C of global warming that’s already happened,” told Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, who co-authored the study with atmospheric scientist Elizabeth Barnes, The Guardian. “This new study, using a new method, adds to the evidence that we certainly will face continuing changes in climate that intensify the impacts we are already feeling.”

Using artificial intelligence, or AI, scientists analyzed different global climate warming model simulations and then determined warming timelines for given temperature thresholds.

Though half a degree doesn’t sound like much, its effects would be catastrophic. The chances of extreme flooding, drought, wildfires, and food shortages will increase greatly. Heatwaves will become more severe and frequent as well.

However, according to Diffenbaugh, there’s still some time to turn things around.

“Managing these risks effectively will require both greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation,” he told The Guardian. “We are not adapted to the global warming that’s already happened and we certainly are not adapted to what is certain to be more global warming in the future.”

He continued: “Stabilizing the climate system will require reaching net zero, he said. “There are a lot of emissions globally – and it’s a big ship to turn around.”

—Aarohi Sheth

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