Share this article:
"Unless we change course dramatically in the coming years, our carbon emissions will create a world utterly different in its very geography from the one in which our species evolved.
“With business as usual, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reach around a thousand parts per million by the end of the century,” says Gavin Foster, a geochemist at the University of Southampton in England. Such concentrations, he says, haven’t been seen on Earth since the early Eocene epoch, 50 million years ago, when the planet was completely ice free. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, sea level on an iceless Earth would be as much as 216 feet higher than it is today. It might take thousands of years and more than a thousand parts per million to create such a world—but if we burn all the fossil fuels, we will get there.
No matter how much we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, Foster says, we’re already locked in to at least several feet of sea-level rise, and perhaps several dozens of feet, as the planet slowly adjusts to the amount of carbon that’s in the atmosphere already. A recent Dutch study predicted that the Netherlands could engineer solutions at a manageable cost to a rise of as much as five meters, or 16 feet. Poorer countries will struggle to adapt to much less. At different times in different places, engineering solutions will no longer suffice. Then the retreat from the coast will begin. In some places there will be no higher ground to retreat to.
By the next century, if not sooner, large numbers of people will have to abandon coastal areas in Florida and other parts of the world. Some researchers fear a flood tide of climate-change refugees. “From the Bahamas to Bangladesh and a major amount of Florida, we’ll all have to move, and we may have to move at the same time,” says Wanless. “We’re going to see civil unrest, war. You just wonder how—or if—civilization will function. How thin are the threads that hold it all together? We can’t comprehend this. We think Miami has always been here and will always be here. How do you get people to realize that Miami—or London—will not always be there?”
Known as Phos-Chek, the fire retardant has been used to fight blazes since 1963.
Parts of the United Kingdom are set for their coolest spell of weather since spring later this week.
El huracán Harvey afectó a los EE. UU. como una tormenta categoría 4, el 25 de agosto de 2017. La tormenta causó daños catastróficos a lo largo de la costa de Texas.
Improved weather is forecast this week for the hard-hit Indian state of Kerala, where tens of thousands have been rescued from the deadly flooding.
Typhoon Soulik will not be the only tropical system to bring impacts to Japan this week as Cimaron strengthens and threatens the country later in the week.
Residents of southern Japan and South Korea are bracing for Typhoon Soulik to pose serious threats to lives and property into Thursday.
Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Cast as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 25, 2017. The storm caused catastrophic damage along the Texas coast, dropping record-breaking rainfall in the affected region.
A system that has a history of producing flooding and violent thunderstorms will threaten an expansive area of the central United States into Monday night.