Science 6 min read

What Climate Crisis Will Look Like in the Next Decade

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In its report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sheds more light on what climate crisis will look like in the coming decade.

Earth‘s average surface temperature has risen by nearly 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. And this results from the steady rise in carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions in the atmosphere.

Aside from the increased surface temperature, the oceans are also warming up. With 93 percent of the surface heat going to the sea, the top 700 meters of the ocean is 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than in 1969.

As you can imagine, this has led to various effects.

Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere in the world, and the sea level is rising. Also, the Arctic sea ice has been on a steady decline within the last decade.

We’re also experiencing various extreme events. These include record-high temperatures, an increase in the number of intense rainfalls, as well as cases of wildfires.

As greenhouse emissions increase, the situation will only get worse. For these reasons, a United Nations report states that a million species could go extinct in the coming years.

But there’s more.

The Climate Crisis In the Coming Decade

Various studies suggest that if the Earth warms more than 1.5 degrees, the world’s ecosystem could start to collapse.

To avoid this dire fate, the IPCC report suggests that the world’s carbon emissions must fall by 45 percent in the coming decade. In other words, the next ten years may be the most crucial moments in the fight against climate change.

Unfortunately, our current efforts to lower carbon emissions may not be enough.

Even if nations manage to meet the voluntary goals under the Paris Agreement, emissions would still be too high. The world would yet release an equivalent 52 to 58 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year by 2030, according to IPCC.

Moreover, most nations are not on track toward meeting their goals. That means the world will keep getting warmer, and even cross the 1.5 degrees mark if we don’t stop emitting greenhouse gases now.

Based on the IPCC report, here’s what’ll happen next.

6 Ways the Climate Crisis Will Increase by 2030

Here’s how the warming climate could affect the planet in the coming decade.

1. Ice Caps Will Continue to Melt

According to the report, the ice caps across the globe will continue to melt. In the end, ice sheets in areas like one in Greenland will reach an irreversible tipping point, after which they’ll no longer exist.

study published in May suggests that Greenland’s ice is already approaching that tipping point.

In the past, new ice formed during the cooling cycle to balance out the melting that occurs in the warm period. But that’s no longer the case.

Now the warm cycles come with a significant meltdown, and the cold period no longer regenerates the lost ice. It merely pauses the melting until the next warm cycle.

2. Sea Level Will Rise More

As you may have guessed, the ice caps melting will lead to more sea-level rise. According to the United States National Climate Assessment, the sea-level will rise by an average of 0.3 to 0.6 feet globally by 2030.

Aside from the melting ice, the increasing ocean temperature also contributes to the rise in sea level. That’s because as the globe heats the ocean water, it’s volume also increases.

Scientists believe that this increase in volume will account for about 75 percent of the future rise in the sea level.

3. Slower but Stronger Hurricanes

According to reports, we could see more cyclones like Hurricane Dorian in the coming decades that lasted for nearly 24 hours.

Thanks to extra warm air and water, hurricanes will not only become stronger, but they’ll be slower and wetter too. That’s because the tropical cyclone uses warm water as fuel.

A 2018 study revealed that the speed of hurricanes and tropical storms have slowed by about 10 percent over the last 70 years.

Slower storms come with heavy rain, forceful wind, and surging tide. As a result, the hurricane will have much more time to cause destruction.

For example, Dorian leveled an entire town in the Bahamas.

4. Increased Rainfall

Aside from making hurricanes slower, a warmer atmosphere can also hold more moisture. That means more rainfall.

Reports suggest that the peak rain rates of storms have increased by 30 percent in the last six decades. That’s as much as four inches of water per hour.

For example, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 weakened into a tropical storm, pouring an unprecedented amount of rain that lasted for days.

5. More Wildfires

Dry vegetations in hot regions are more likely to light up quickly in the coming decade. That means wildfires will become bigger and more frequent.

In a July release, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) wrote:

“Climate change, with rising temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns, is amplifying the risk of wildfires and prolonging the season.”

The number of forests that burned in the western U.S. between 1984 and 2015 has increased by nearly 100 percent. It’s even worse in California, where the annual area burned in summer wildfire has increased fivefold from 1972 to 2018.

6. Climate Crisis Will Endanger Living Things

According to the World Health Organization, the overall climate change could kill up to 241,000 people per year. The organization believes that the bulk of these people will die from heat-related illnesses.

Other crucial ecosystems are at risk of collapsing in the next decade, as well.

Corals are starting to expel that algae living in its tissue, turning the reefs, are turning white in a process known as coral bleaching. As a result, 25 percent of all marine life that depend on reefs for survival is also at risk.

Also, reports suggest that global crop yield will drop by 5 percent in the coming decade, resulting in food scarcity. However, regions in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia are most likely to experience it.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, the current climate crisis could evolve into a bleak future for the planet.

However, we can avoid these devastating consequences by cutting annual emissions by half of what they are now before 2030. That means greening the way we travel and shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Also, start a climate conversation with your friends and families.

Yes, discussion about climate change can bring up difficult emotions, especially when you consider the consequences. But, it could also provide an insight into the scale and severity of the impending climate crisis.

Read More: Forget Climate Change, Call it Climate Disruption

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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