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World On Verge Of Breaching 5 Climate Tipping Points, Scientists Warn In New Report

Even achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century won’t prevent surpassing these critical thresholds, says Manjana Milkoreit

World On Verge Of Breaching 5 Climate Tipping Points, Scientists Warn In New Report
Early tipping points in Asia's mountain glaciers are already causing landslides, floods, erratic weather, and extreme conditions

Dubai: The world is in danger of surpassing the five vital limits crucial for life on Earth due to current warming levels, a team of 200 scientists warned in a critical report released at the UN climate conference here on Wednesday (December 05). Released at the International Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai, the “Global Tipping Points” report is the most thorough assessment ever done on the boundaries of natural systems, according to the scientists.

It identifies 26 tipping points, with five critical ones, like the cryosphere, already at risk due to current levels of global warming.

According to the report, the five major tipping points are the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets, the North Atlantic subpolar Gyre Circulation, warm-water coral reefs and some permafrost regions. Prof. Tim Lenon, lead author and chair of Climate Change and Earth System Science at the University of Exeter, UK, said,

These tipping points pose threats of a magnitude that has never been faced before by humanity.

On a positive note, the report highlights potential tipping points in social progress, such as the growth of renewable energy.

Also Read: World Bank Launches Climate And Health Initiative To Avert 21 Million Deaths By 2050

Dr Steve Smith, at the University of Exeter, noted that just as there are negative tipping points, positive ones can reinforce each other. He said,

For example, as we cross the tipping point that sees electric vehicles become the dominant form of road transport, battery technology continues to get better and cheaper.

Manjana Milkoreit, governance lead research fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway, said,

The window to prevent the breaching of tipping efforts will close as soon as we pass 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Negotiators at the climate talks are discussing ways to address fossil fuel burning, the primary cause of global warming.

Ms Milkoreit stressed that even achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century won’t prevent surpassing these critical thresholds. She said,

The world needs a step change in mitigation efforts and a deliberate and active phaseout of fossil fuels.

Commenting on the report, Izabella Koziell from the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) said that early tipping points in Asia’s mountain glaciers are already causing landslides, floods, erratic weather, and extreme conditions.

ICIMOD is an intergovernmental institution that works to promote sustainable mountain development in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, the world’s third-largest storage of frozen water.

Also Read: “Climate Change Hits Women’s Health Harder,” Say Activists, Expect World Leaders To Address It At COP28

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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