Маѕѕ ехtіnсtіоn оf аnіmаlѕ аррrоасhіng wаrnѕ ѕсіеntіѕtѕ

Mass extinction of animals approaching warns scientists

Vіеwѕ: 977
Роѕtеd: Моndау, Јunе 1, 2020. 7:51 рm СЅТ.

Рhоtо Сrеdіt: Тhе Guаrdіаn

Ву ВВN Ѕtаff: Ѕсіеntіѕtѕ аrе wаrnіng thаt thе еаrth іѕ аbоut tо ѕее а ѕіхth mаѕѕ ехtіnсtіоn оf аnіmаlѕ аt аn ассеlеrаtеd rаtе, ассоrdіng tо аn аrtісlе рublіѕhеd іn thе Unіtеd Кіngdоm-bаѕеd mеdіа hоuѕе Тhе Guаrdіаn.

Тhе аrtісlе wаrnѕ thаt оvеr 500 ѕресіеѕ оf lаnd аnіmаlѕ аrе іn dаngеr оf ехtіnсtіоn wіthіn 20 уеаrѕ duе tо humаn асtіvіtіеѕ, whісh mаtсhеѕ thе numbеr оf аnіmаlѕ thаt wеnt ехtіnсt оvеr thе раѕt сеnturу. Тhе аrtісlе nоtеѕ thаt wіthоut humаn іntеrасtіоn, іt wоuld hаvе tаkеn thоuѕаndѕ оf уеаrѕ tо асhіеvе.

Тhе Guаrdіаn rеfеrеnсеѕ thе рареr “Vеrtеbrаtеѕ оn thе brіnk аѕ іndісаtоrѕ оf bіоlоgісаl аnnіhіlаtіоn аnd thе ѕіхth mаѕѕ ехtіnсtіоn,” рublіѕhеd іn thе јоurnаl Рrосееdіngѕ іn thе Nаtіоnаl Асаdеmу оf Ѕсіеnсеѕ whісh wаѕ рublіѕhеd tоdау. Тhе rеѕеаrсh wаѕ соnduсtеd bу а јоіnt tеаm оf rеѕеаrсhеrѕ frоm thе Nаtіоnаl Аutоnоmоuѕ Unіvеrѕіtу оf Мехісо, Ѕtаnfоrd Unіvеrѕіtу іn thе Unіtеd Ѕtаtеѕ, аnd thе Міѕѕоurі Воtаnісаl Gаrdеn аlѕо іn thе UЅ. Тhе tеаm аnаlуzеd dаtа оn 29,400 lаnd vеrtеbrаtе ѕресіеѕ соmріlеd bу thе Іntеrnаtіоnаl Unіоn fоr Соnѕеrvаtіоn оf Nаturе (ІUСN) Rеd Lіѕt оf Тhrеаtеnеd Ѕресіеѕ аnd ВіrdLіfе Іntеrnаtіоnаl.

Тhе rеѕеаrсhеrѕ fоund 515 ѕресіеѕ, mоѕtlу mаmmаlѕ, bіrdѕ, rерtіlеѕ, аnd аmрhіbіаnѕ frоm trорісаl аnd ѕubtrорісаl rеgіоnѕ, wіth рорulаtіоnѕ bеlоw 1,000, wіth аrоund hаlf оf thеm hаvіng fеwеr thаn 250 rеmаіnіng. Тhе tеаm аlѕо dіѕсоvеrеd thаt 388 ѕресіеѕ оf lаnd vеrtеbrаtе hаd рорulаtіоnѕ undеr 5,000, wіth аrоund 84 реrсеnt оf thеm lіvіng іn thе ѕаmе rеgіоnѕ аѕ thе ѕресіеѕ wіth рорulаtіоnѕ undеr 1,000.

Тhе tеаm nоtеd thаt thе lоw рорulаtіоnѕ іn сlоѕе рrохіmіtу соuld lеаd tо а “dоmіnо еffесt” whеrе nаturаl рrеdаtоrѕ fоr ѕоmе аnіmаlѕ gо ехtіnсt lеаd tо аn оvеrрорulаtіоn оf аnоthеr ѕресіеѕ thаt соuld hаvе ѕеrіоuѕ еnvіrоnmеntаl rереrсuѕѕіоnѕ.

Mass extinction of animals approaching warns scientists

A steaming cauldron follows the dinosaurs’ demise


A Steaming Cauldron Follows the Dinosaurs' Demise
Hydrothermal minerals (analcime and dachiardite) in 1 centimeter cavity within impact rocks that fill the Chicxulub crater. Credit: David A. Kring

A new study reveals the Chicxulub impact crater may have harbored a vast and long-lived hydrothermal system after the catastrophic impact event linked to the extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

The lead author, Universities Space Research Association’s David Kring at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), explains, “Imagine an undersea Yellowstone Caldera, but one that is several times larger and produced by the staggering impact event that resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs.”

A Steaming Cauldron Follows the Dinosaurs' Demise
Close-up view of hydrothermal minerals (silica and feldspar) in impact melt rock. Credit: David A. Kring

The team found evidence that subsurface rivers of water were heated and driven upwards towards the boundary between the floor of the impact crater and the bottom of the Yucatán sea. The hot water streamed around the edges of an approximate 3-kilometer thick pool of impact-generated magma, percolated through fractured , and rose to the seafloor where it vented into the sea. The  was particularly intense in an uplifted range of mountains on the seafloor that form a 90 kilometer-diameter ring around the center of the crater. The rock core recovered from that peak ring is cross-cut by fossil hydrothermal conduits that are lined with multi-colored minerals, some, appropriately enough, a fiery red-orange color. Nearly two dozen minerals precipitated from the fluids as they coursed through the rock, replacing the rock’s original minerals.

The peak ring of the crater is composed of fractured granite-like rocks that were uplifted from a depth of approximately 10 kilometers by the impact. Those rocks are covered by porous and permeable impact debris. Both rock units are affected by the hydrothermal system. “Hot-fluid alteration was most vigorous in the permeable impact debris, but garnet crystals, indicating high temperatures, were found at different levels throughout the core,” explains former LPI Postdoctoral Researcher Martin Schmieder who recently assumed a new post at Neu-Ulm University in Germany.

Minerals identified in the new rock core indicate the hydrothermal system was initially very hot with temperatures of 300 to 400 °C. Such high temperatures indicate the system would have taken a long time to cool. The team determined the cooling time using a geomagnetic polarity clock. “Our results indicate that tiny magnetic minerals were created in the Chicxulub crater due to chemical reactions produced by a long-lived hydrothermal system. These minerals appear to have recorded changes in the Earth’s magnetic field as they formed. Their magnetic memories suggest that hydrothermal activity within the crater persisted for at least 150,000 years,” says co-author Sonia Tikoo from Stanford University.

  • A Steaming Cauldron Follows the Dinosaurs' Demise
    Portion of Expedition 364 rock core. Credit: Kring@ECORD_IODP
  • A Steaming Cauldron Follows the Dinosaurs' Demise
    Hydrothermal minerals (silica and feldspar) in cavity within impact melt rock core. Credit: ECORD-IODP Exp 364
  • A Steaming Cauldron Follows the Dinosaurs' Demise
    Portion of Expedition 364 rock core. Credit: Kring@ECORD_IODP
  • A Steaming Cauldron Follows the Dinosaurs' Demise
    Hydrothermal minerals (silica and feldspar) in cavity within impact melt rock core. Credit: ECORD-IODP Exp 364

Further evidence for the hydrothermal system’s longevity comes from an anomalously high concentration of manganese in seafloor sediments, the result of seafloor venting. Co-author Axel Wittmann from Arizona State University explains, “Similar to mid-ocean ridges, venting from marine impact craters generates hydrothermal plumes that contain dissolved and slowly oxidizing manganese, which compared to background concentrations produced enrichments up to ten-fold in post-impact sediments over 2.1 million years at Chicxulub.”

Although the expedition only tapped the hydrothermal system in one location, Kring says “The results suggest there was an approximately 300 kilometer-long string of hot water vents on the peak ring and additional vents scattered across the crater floor as impact melt cooled. Importantly, such hydrothermal systems may have provided habitats for .” Yellowstone’s volcanic hydrothermal systems are rich with microbial organisms and imply impact-generated  systems have the same biologic potential. Kring concludes, “Our study of the expedition’s rock core from a potential deep Earth habitat provides additional evidence for the impact-origin of life hypothesis. Life may have evolved in an impact .”

A Steaming Cauldron Follows the Dinosaurs' Demise
A three-dimensional cross-section of the hydrothermal system in the Chicxulub impact crater and its seafloor vents. The system has the potential for harboring microbial life. Credit: Victor O. Leshyk for the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

The extent and longevity of the Chicxulub hydrothermal system suggest that impact-generated systems early in Earth history may have provided niches for life. Thousands of these types of systems were produced during a period of impact bombardment more than 3.8 billion years ago. As each system cooled, it would have provided an environment rich in materials suitable for thermophilic and hyperthermophilic organisms.

Mass Extinction Event Caused by Erosion of the Ozone Layer

East Greenland Spores Comparison

Normal and malformed spores from East Greenland. Credit: John Marshall

Researchers at the University of Southampton have shown that an extinction event 360 million years ago, that killed much of the Earth’s plant and freshwater aquatic life, was caused by a brief breakdown of the ozone layer that shields the Earth from damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is a newly discovered extinction mechanism with profound implications for our warming world today.

There have been a number of mass extinction in the geological past. Only one was caused by an asteroid hitting the Earth, which was 66 million years ago when the dinosaurs became extinct. Three of the others, including the end Permian Great Dying, 252 million years ago, were caused by huge continental-scale volcanic eruptions that destabilized the Earth’s atmospheres and oceans.

Now, scientists have found evidence showing it was high levels of UV radiation which collapsed forest ecosystems and killed off many species of fish and tetrapods (our four-limbed ancestors) at the end of the Devonian geological period, 359 million years ago. This damaging burst of UV radiation occurred as part of one of the Earth’s climate cycles, rather than being caused by a huge volcanic eruption.

The ozone collapse occurred as the climate rapidly warmed following an intense ice age and the researchers suggest that the Earth today could reach comparable temperatures, possibly triggering a similar event. Their findings are published in the journal Science Advances.

Helicopter Leaving Team on Rebild Bakker

Helicopter leaving team on Rebild Bakker, East Greenland. Credit: John Marshall

The team collected rock samples during expeditions to mountainous polar-regions in East Greenland, which once formed a huge ancient lake bed in the arid interior of the Old Red Sandstone Continent, made up of Europe and North America. This lake was situated in the Earth’s southern hemisphere and would have been similar in nature to modern-day Lake Chad on the edge of the Sahara Desert.

Other rocks were collected from the Andean Mountains above Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. These South American samples were from the southern continent of Gondwana, which was closer to the Devonian South Pole. They held clues as to what was happening at the edge of the melting Devonian ice sheet, allowing a comparison between the extinction event close to the pole and close to the equator.

Professor John Marshall Collecting Samples in Spitsbergen

Prof John Marshall (left), taking samples in Spitsbergen. Credit: Sarah Wallace-Johnson

Back in the lab, the rocks were dissolved in hydrofluoric acid, releasing microscopic plant spores (like pollen, but from fern-like plants that didn’t have seeds or flowers) which had lain preserved for hundreds of millions of years. On microscopic examination, the scientists found many of the spores had bizarrely formed spines on their surface — a response to UV radiation damaging their DNA. Also, many spores had dark pigmented walls, thought to be a kind of protective ‘tan’, due to increased and damaging UV levels.

The scientists concluded that, during a time of rapid global warming, the ozone layer collapsed for a short period, exposing life on Earth to harmful levels of UV radiation and triggering a mass extinction event on land and in shallow water at the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary.

Following melting of the ice sheets, the climate was very warm, with the increased heat above continents pushing more naturally generated ozone destroying chemicals into the upper atmosphere. This let in high levels of UV-B radiation for several thousand years.

Camp at Summit of Stensio Bjerg

Camp at 1200m on summit of Stensio Bjerg, East Greenland. Credit: John Marshall

Lead researcher Professor John Marshall, of the University of Southampton’s School of Ocean and Earth Science, who is a National Geographic Explorer, comments: “Our ozone shield vanished for a short time in this ancient period, coinciding with a brief and quick warming of the Earth. Our ozone layer is naturally in a state of flux — constantly being created and lost — and we have shown this happened in the past too, without a catalyst such as a continental scale volcanic eruption.”

During the extinction, plants selectively survived, but were enormously disrupted as the forest ecosystem collapsed. The dominant group of armored fish became extinct. Those that survived — sharks and bony fish — remain to this day the dominant fish in our ecosystems.

These extinctions came at a key time for the evolution of our own ancestors, the tetrapods. These early tetrapods are fish that evolved to have limbs rather than fins, but still mostly lived in water. Their limbs possessed many fingers and toes. The extinction reset the direction of their evolution with the post-extinction survivors being terrestrial and with the number of fingers and toes reduced to five.

Camp Site in East Greenland

Camp site in East Greenland. Credit: John Marshall

Professor Marshall says his team’s findings have startling implications for life on Earth today: “Current estimates suggest we will reach similar global temperatures to those of 360 million years ago, with the possibility that a similar collapse of the ozone layer could occur again, exposing surface and shallow sea life to deadly radiation. This would move us from the current state of climate change, to a climate emergency.”

The remote locations visited in East Greenland are very difficult to access, with travel involving light aircraft capable of landing directly on the tundra. Transport within the vast field area was by inflatable boats equipped with outboard motors, all of which had to fit in the small aircraft.

All field logistics was organized by CASP, an independent charitable trust based in Cambridge specializing in remote geological fieldwork. Mike Curtis, Managing Director of CASP says: “We have a history of assisting research geologists such as John Marshall and colleagues to access remote field areas and we are particularly pleased that their research has proved to have such potentially profound implications.”


Reference: “UV-B radiation was the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary terrestrial extinction kill mechanism” by John E. A. Marshall, Jon Lakin, Ian Troth and Sarah M. Wallace-Johnson, 27 May 2020, Science Advances.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba0768

The research was funded in part by a grant from the National Geographic Society.

The research was conducted in collaboration with The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

All five of Earth’s largest mass extinctions linked to global warming

New Scientist Default Image

Ancient marine life may have been wiped out by volcanic activity

Phil Degginger/Carnegie Museum / Alamy

The second-most severe mass extinction in Earth’s history may have been triggered by global warming. The discovery means that, for the first time, all of the largest known extinctions can be linked to a rapid rise in the planet’s temperature.

“It completes the jigsaw puzzle in many ways,” says Andrew Kerr at Cardiff University, UK. Geologists recognise five points in time when huge numbers of species were wiped out, although recent research suggests at least one of these might have been too …

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Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2244353-all-five-of-earths-largest-mass-extinctions-linked-to-global-warming/#ixzz6NIo254Rk

Here’s how a wavy jet stream is screwing up weather all over the US this weekend

A National Weather Service map shows where freeze warnings (navy) are in effect for this weekend.

A National Weather Service map shows where freeze warnings (navy) are in effect for this weekend.
(Image: © NWS)

Temperatures are expected to drop to record lows for this time of year across much of the northern U.S east of the Rocky Mountains. The culprit? A low-pressure mass of Arctic air is making its way down through Ontario, Canada, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

“Temperatures will be quite chilly for middle May, a good 20 degrees below normal,” on Saturday (May 9), the New York NWS wrote in a Friday forecast discussion. Rain is likely, and flurries are possible, though the mid-May sun makes them unlikely, according to the NWS.

A map shows snowfall predictions for the weekend.

A map shows snowfall predictions for the weekend. (Image credit: NWS)

Farther north and west, things will be colder, with freeze warnings in place across parts of the Great Plains, Appalachians and the Northeast. Several inches of snow are possible in northern Appalachia, according to the national forecast. Lake-effect snow is possible by the Great Lakes, and high winds are expected across the Northeast as the low-pressure system turns into a bona fide storm system.

The air mass making its way south is part of what’s often called the “polar vortex,” a swirl of frigid air usually confined to the Arctic by the circulating atmospheric current known as the jet stream. Sometimes, wobbles in the jet stream allow some of that Arctic air to escape south, according to the NWS.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration graphic shows how disturbances to the jet stream produce extreme weather.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration graphic shows how disturbances to the jet stream produce extreme weather. (Image credit: NOAA)

The relationship between polar vortex escapes like this and climate change isn’t yet fully understood, but many studies (summarized in this paper published in the journal Science Advances in 2018) have found climate change effects can disturb the jet stream and lead to extreme weather events.

The Weather Channel reported that this weekend should see multiple low-temperature and possibly low-pressure records fall. Meanwhile, a high-pressure block of lower-latitude air “bulging” northward to the west should bring extreme heat to the other side of the Rocky Mountains.

In other words, it will be an extreme weather weekend all over the country, not fully clearing up after Mother’s Day on Sunday (May 10).

Wildlife Collapse From Climate Change Is Predicted to Hit Suddenly and Sooner

Scientists found a “cliff edge” instead of the slippery slope they expected.

A sea turtle hatchling headed for the ocean in Aceh Province, Indonesia.
Credit…Chaideer Mahyuddin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Climate change could result in a more abrupt collapse of many animal species than previously thought, starting in the next decade if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, according to a study published this month in Nature.

The study predicted that large swaths of ecosystems would falter in waves, creating sudden die-offs that would be catastrophic not only for wildlife, but for the humans who depend on it.

“For a long time things can seem OK and then suddenly they’re not,” said Alex L. Pigot, a scientist at University College London and one of the study’s authors. “Then, it’s too late to do anything about it because you’ve already fallen over this cliff edge.”

The latest research adds to an already bleak picture for the world’s wildlife unless urgent action is taken to preserve habitats and limit climate change. More than a million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction because of the myriad ways humans are changing the earth by farming, fishing, logging, mining, poaching and burning fossil fuels.


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The study looked at more than 30,000 species on land and in water to predict how soon climate change would affect population levels and whether those levels would change gradually or suddenly. To answer these questions, the authors determined the hottest temperature that a species is known to have withstood, and then predicted when that temperature would be surpassed around the world under different emissions scenarios.

ImageCoral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists say recent bleaching events suggest that major die-offs in tropical seas are already underway.
Credit…James Cook University Australia/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

When they examined the projections, the researchers were surprised that sudden collapses appeared across almost all species — fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals — and across almost all regions.

“It’s not that it happens in some places,” said Cory Merow, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut and one of the study’s authors. “No matter how you slice the analysis, it always seems to happen.”

If greenhouse gas emissions remain on current trajectories, the research showed that abrupt collapses in tropical oceans could begin in the next decade. Coral bleaching events over the last several years suggest that these losses have already started, the scientists said. Collapse in tropical forests, home to some of the most diverse ecosystems on earth, could follow by the 2040s.

But if global warming was held to below 2 degrees Celsius, the number of species exposed to dangerous climate change would drop by 60 percent. That, in turn, would limit the number of ecosystems exposed to catastrophic collapse to about 2 percent.

“The benefits of early and rapid action are massive and prevent the extinction of thousands of species,” said Christopher H. Trisos, a scientist at the University of Cape Town and one of the study’s authors.

The study does not take into account other factors that could help or hurt a species’ survival. For example, some species may tolerate or adapt to higher temperatures; on the other hand, if their food sources could not, they would die off just the same.

Climate Fwd: What on earth is going on? Get the latest news about climate change, plus tips on how you can help.

“It provides yet another, critical wake-up call about the massive repercussions of a rapidly warming world,” said Walter Jetz, an ecologist at Yale University who did not participate in the study. He added that it was more evidence of the importance of following through on the pledges that nations around the world made in the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Trump administration is in the process of withdrawing from that commitment.

The study suggested that even keeping global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, would still leave many people and ecosystems vulnerable.

“If we take action now, we limit this abrupt disruption to 2 percent of the planet,” Dr. Trisos said. “But that two percent of the planet still has a lot of people living there in tropical regions. And they need our help.”

Catrin Einhorn reports on wildlife and extinction for the Climate desk. She has also worked on the Investigations desk, where she was part of the Times team that received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its reporting on sexual harassment. @catrineinhorn

A version of this article appears in print on , Section A, Page 19 of the New York edition with the headline: Study Sees ‘Cliff Edge’ Of Die-Offs Over Climate. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Abrupt Warming – How Much And How Fast?

SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2017


How much could temperatures rise? As the image shows, a rise of more than 10°C (18°F) could take place, resulting in mass extinction of many species, including humans.

How fast could such a temperature rise eventuate? As above image also shows, such a rise could take place within a few years. The polynomial trend is based on NASA January 2012-February 2017 anomalies from 1951-1980, adjusted by +0.59°C to cater for the rise from 1750 to 1951-1980. The trend points at a 3°C rise in the course of 2018, which would be devastating. Moreover, the rise doesn’t stop there and the trend points at a 10°C rise as early as the year 2021.

Is this polynomial trend the most appropriate one? This has been discussed for years, e.g. at the Controversy Page, and more recently at Which Trend Is best?

The bottom part of above image shows the warming elements that add up to the 10°C (18°F) temperature rise. Figures for five elements may be overestimated (as indicated by the ⇦ symbol) or underestimated (⇨ symbol), while figures in two elements could be either under- or overestimated depending on developments in other elements. Interaction between warming elements is included, i.e. where applicable, figures on the image include interaction based on initial figures and subsequently apportioned over the relevant elements.

A closer look at each of these warming elements further explains why abrupt warming could take place in a matter of years. As far as the first two elements are concerned, i.e. the rise from 1900 and the rise from 1750 to 1900, this has already eventuated. The speed at which further warming elements can strike is depicted in the image below, i.e. the rise could for a large part occur within years and in some cases within days and even immediately.

Assessing the Danger

The danger can be looked at on three dimensions: timescale, probability and severity. On the severity dimension, a 10°C temperature rise is beyond catastrophic, i.e. we’re talking about extinction of species at massive scale, including humans. On the probability dimension, the danger appears to be progressing inevitably toward certainty if no comprehensive and effective action is taken.

In terms of timescale, a 10°C temperature rise could eventuate within a matter of years, which makes the danger imminent, adding further weight to the need to start taking comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.

The Threat

With little or no action taken on global warming, it appears that the Antropocene will lead to extinction of the very human beings after which the era is named, with the Anthropocene possibly running from 1950 to 2021, i.e. a mere 71 years and much too short to constitute an era. In that case a better name for the period would be the Sixth Extiction Event, as also illustrated by the image below.

[ See: Feedbacks in the Arctic and the Extinction page ]

In conclusion, it’s high time that homo sapiens starts acting as genuinely wise modern human beings and commit to comprehensive and effective action as discussed at the Climate Plan.

Further reading

Read more about the threat here. Warming elements are discussed in more detail at the Extinction Page, while specific elements are also discussed in posts, e.g. methane hydrates are discussed at Methane Erupting From Arctic Ocean, decline of the snow and ice cover and associated feedbacks is discussed at Arctic Ocean Feedbacks and less take-up by oceans of CO₂ and heat from the atmosphere is discussed at 10°C or 18°F warmer by 2021? and at the new post High Waves Set To Batter Arctic Ocean.

The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan.


• Climate Plan

• Feedbacks

• Extinction

• The Threat

• Controversy

• Which Trend Is best?

• 10°C or 18°F warmer by 2021?

• Arctic Ocean Feedbacks

• Methane Erupting From Arctic Ocean

• High Waves Set To Batter Arctic Ocean

• Warning of mass extinction of species, including humans, within one decade

2°C crossed

FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2020


It’s time to stop denying how precarious the situation is.

Remember the Paris Agreement? In 2015, politicians pledged to hold the global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pledged they would try and limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Well, an analysis by Sam Carana shows that it was already more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial when the Paris Agreement was reached.

In Sam Carana’s analysis, the year 1750 is used as the baseline for pre-industrial. The analysis shows that we meanwhile have also crossed the 2°C threshold (in February 2020) and that the temperature rise looks set to rapidly drive humans and eventually most if not all species on Earth into extinction.

Yet, our politicians refuse to act!

Accelerating temperature rise

Indeed, there are indications that the recent rise is part of a trend that points at even higher temperatures in the near future, as also discussed at this analysis page. Polynomial trends can highlight such acceleration better than linear trends. The 1970-2030 polynomial trend in the image below is calculated over the period from 1880 through to February 2020. The trend points at 3°C getting crossed in 2026.

In above image, the January 2020 and February 2020 anomalies are above the trend. This indicates that the situation might be even worse.

A polynomial trend calculated over a shorter period can highlight short-term variation such as associated with El Niño events and can highlight feedbacks that might otherwise be overlooked. The 2010-2022 trend in the image below is calculated with 2009-Feb.2020 data. The trend indicates that 2°C was crossed in February 2020, and looks set to keep rising and cross 3°C in 2021, more specifically in January next year, which is less than a year away.

Such a steep rise is in line with unfolding developments that are causing the aerosol masking effect to fall away, such as a decrease in industrial activity due to COVID-19 fears. The image below shows a potential rise of 18°C or 32.4°F from 1750 by the year 2026.

Above image was posted more than a year ago and illustrates that much of this potentially huge temperature rise over the next few years could eventuate as a result of a reduction in the cooling now provided by sulfates. In other words, a steep temperature rise could result from a decline in industrial activity that is caused by fears about the spread of a contagious virus, as also discussed in the video at an earlier post.

The situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.


• Analysis: Crossing the Paris Agreement thresholds

• A rise of 18°C or 32.4°F by 2026?

• How much warming have humans caused?

• Arctic Ocean January 2020

• Climate Plan

In the video below, Guy McPherson discusses the situation.

Recipe For Disaster

Consider this blog a chronicle of mankind’s last days. What were humans thinking when they took this incredibly beautiful, fragile, planet down—in the name of greed, selfishness, arrogance, sport or self-esteem?

Some of the articles I post might seem unrelated, off-topic or out of place when examined alone. But they are all part of the bigger picture which someday may be viewed by a higher intelligence who comes across it in their quest to know just how one species—out of so many—thought they had the right to exploit all others, carte blanc, under the narcissistic delusion that non-human lives on Earth had no rights at all.

Whether or not mankind survives the assault they’re putting the planet through is a non-issue for me. Personally, I hope they don’t. They do not deserve a second chance to rule this vibrant, watery orb any more than they deserved the first chance to steal Nature, abuse and forever change her.

But why all this on an anti-hunting blog? Because hunting, and ultimately meat-eating, is where humans first started screwing things up. For a plant-eating primate to leave the trees, take weapon in hand, turn carnivorous and claim the planet and everything that walks, crawls, swims or flies as their own was a recipe for disaster…

‘The only uncertainty is how long we’ll last’: a worst case scenario for the climate in 2050

The Future We Choose, a new book by the architects of the Paris climate accords, offers two contrasting visions for how the world might look in thirty years (read the best case scenario here)

 Christiana Figueres, author: ‘This is the decade and we are the generation’

Red clouds in a dark sky
 ‘The air can taste slightly acidic, sometimes making you feel nauseated.’ Photograph: Arctic-Images/Corbis

It is 2050. Beyond the emissions reductions registered in 2015, no further efforts were made to control emissions. We are heading for a world that will be more than 3C warmer by 2100

The first thing that hits you is the air. In many places around the world, the air is hot, heavy and, depending on the day, clogged with particulate pollution. Your eyes often water. Your cough never seems to disappear. You think about some countries in Asia, where, out of consideration, sick people used to wear white masks to protect others from airborne infection. Now you often wear a mask to protect yourself from air pollution. You can no longer simply walk out your front door and breathe fresh air: there might not be any. Instead, before opening doors or windows in the morning, you check your phone to see what the air quality will be.

Fewer people work outdoors and even indoors the air can taste slightly acidic, sometimes making you feel nauseated. The last coal furnaces closed 10 years ago, but that hasn’t made much difference in air quality around the world because you are still breathing dangerous exhaust fumes from millions of cars and buses everywhere. Our world is getting hotter. Over the next two decades, projections tell us that temperatures in some areas of the globe will rise even higher, an irreversible development now utterly beyond our control. Oceans, forests, plants, trees and soil had for many years absorbed half the carbon dioxide we spewed out. Now there are few forests left, most of them either logged or consumed by wildfire, and the permafrost is belching greenhouse gases into an already overburdened atmosphere. The increasing heat of the Earth is suffocating us and in five to 10 years, vast swaths of the planet will be increasingly inhospitable to humans. We don’t know how hospitable the arid regions of Australia, South Africa and the western United States will be by 2100. No one knows what the future holds for their children and grandchildren: tipping point after tipping point is being reached, casting doubt on the form of future civilisation. Some say that humans will be cast to the winds again, gathering in small tribes, hunkered down and living on whatever patch of land might sustain them.

More moisture in the air and higher sea surface temperatures have caused a surge in extreme hurricanes and tropical storms. Recently, coastal cities in Bangladesh, Mexico, the United States and elsewhere have suffered brutal infrastructure destruction and extreme flooding, killing many thousands and displacing millions. This happens with increasing frequency now. Every day, because of rising water levels, some part of the world must evacuate to higher ground. Every day, the news shows images of mothers with babies strapped to their backs, wading through floodwaters and homes ripped apart by vicious currents that resemble mountain rivers. News stories tell of people living in houses with water up to their ankles because they have nowhere else to go, their children coughing and wheezing because of the mould growing in their beds, insurance companies declaring bankruptcy, leaving survivors without resources to rebuild their lives. Contaminated water supplies, sea salt intrusions and agricultural runoff are the order of the day. Because multiple disasters are often happening simultaneously, it can take weeks or even months for basic food and water relief to reach areas pummelled by extreme floods. Diseases such as malaria, dengue, cholera, respiratory illnesses and malnutrition are rampant.

The aftermath of a wildfire in northern California, November 2018.
 The aftermath of a wildfire in northern California, November 2018. Photograph: Noah Berger/AP

You try not to think about the 2 billion people who live in the hottest parts of the world, where, for upwards of 45 days per year, temperatures skyrocket to 60C (140F), a point at which the human body cannot be outside for longer than about six hours because it loses the ability to cool itself down. Places such as central India are becoming increasingly challenging to inhabit. Mass migrations to less hot rural areas are beset by a host of refugee problems, civil unrest and bloodshed over diminished water availability.

Food production swings wildly from month to month, season to season, depending on where you live. More people are starving than ever before. Climate zones have shifted, so some new areas have become available for agriculture (Alaska, the Arctic), while others have dried up (Mexico, California). Still others are unstable because of the extreme heat, never mind flooding, wildfire and tornadoes. This makes the food supply in general highly unpredictable. Global trade has slowed as countries seek to hold on to their own resources.

Countries with enough food are resolute about holding on to it. As a result, food riots, coups and civil wars are throwing the world’s most vulnerable from the frying pan into the fire. As developed countries seek to seal their borders from mass migration, they too feel the consequences. Most countries’ armies are now just highly militarised border patrols. Some countries are letting people in, but only under conditions approaching indentured servitude.

A young boy picks material from a rubbish dump in Taez, Yemen.
 A young boy picks material from a rubbish dump in Taez, Yemen. Photograph: Ahmad Al-Basha/AFP via Getty Images

Those living within stable countries may be physically safe, yes, but the psychological toll is mounting. With each new tipping point passed, they feel hope slipping away. There is no chance of stopping the runaway warming of our planet and no doubt we are slowly but surely heading towards some kind of collapse. And not just because it’s too hot. Melting permafrost is also releasing ancient microbes that today’s humans have never been exposed to and, as a result, have no resistance to. Diseases spread by mosquitoes and ticks are rampant as these species flourish in the changed climate, spreading to previously safe parts of the planet, increasingly overwhelming us. Worse still, the public health crisis of antibiotic resistance has only intensified as the population has grown denser in inhabitable areas and temperatures continue to rise.

The demise of the human species is being discussed more and more. For many, the only uncertainty is how long we’ll last, how many more generations will see the light of day. Suicides are the most obvious manifestation of the prevailing despair, but there are other indications: a sense of bottomless loss, unbearable guilt and fierce resentment at previous generations who didn’t do what was necessary to ward off this unstoppable calamity.

 This is an edited extract from The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, published by Manilla Press (£12.99). To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com. Free UK p&p over £15

 Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac will be in conversation at a Guardian Live event at the Royal Geographical Society, London SW7, on Tuesday 3 March, 7pm