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The climate crisis is not a problem for the future

  The World Meteorological Organization’s “State of the Global Climate in 2021” report shows that in June and July last year, heat waves and wildfires swept across western North America; cold waves and heavy snowfall raged in North America, Russia and Spain; The recent floods occurred in Zhengzhou, China, western Germany, eastern Belgium, and New South Wales, Australia; South America was affected by drought, and water resources were once in short supply, threatening the survival of local people.
  The time has come when we must face the test of the climate crisis.
  The sixth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is not shy about humanity’s catastrophic impact on the planet. The opening summary of the landmark report reads: “There is no doubt that human Ocean and land warming.”
  Since 1880, the average global temperature has risen by just over 1°C, two-thirds of which has occurred since 1975, or about 0.15-0.20°C per decade. According to the “Paris Climate Agreement”, by the end of the 21st century, the global temperature rise should be controlled at the level before the industrial revolution not to exceed 2°C (try not to exceed 1.5°C).
  On the surface, 1-2°C may not seem like a lot, but consider this: For every 1°C increase in temperature, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increases by 7%. The result: Hurricanes bring unprecedented storm surges and Rains, devastating rains wash away vital farmland; 1,000-year floods are on the rise around the world. For every 1°C increase in temperature, the number of lightning strikes increases by 10% to 12%, and the result: more and more wildfires. Of course, just 1°C makes all the difference whether you have water, because at 0°C, it turns to ice. That’s why 1.5°C has become, in the view of many experts, a dangerous threshold for global warming.
  Even if there is a 0.5°C gap between 1.5°C and 2°C of global average warming, the difference in the span and goals of the Paris Climate Agreement is shocking: compared with 2°C warming, urban areas face severe Drought will reduce the population by about 61 million; by 2050, the number of people facing increased water scarcity will be reduced by 184-270 million; 1.5-2.5 million square kilometers of permafrost will be prevented from melting, which itself is carbon and methane main source of .
  We must remember that the climate crisis did not start when temperatures rose by 1.5°C, it is the result of long-term changes in the Earth’s climate and weather patterns. It took nearly a century of research and data to convince the majority of the scientific community that human activities could alter the climate of our entire planet.

A 2019 study found that the oceans absorbed 90% of the heat the Earth gained between 1971 and 2010; another found that the oceans absorbed 20 trillion joules of heat in 2020 — the equivalent of two Hiroshimas per second atomic bomb.

NASA analysis data: Earth’s carbon dioxide reaches the highest level in 2 million years.

  From early studies demonstrating rising global temperatures, to using ice cores containing 800,000 years of continuous Earth climate records, to using supercomputers to run climate simulations, here’s a look at some of the most important discoveries in climate change research to date –
01 Early signs that humans can change the global climate

  As far back as the ancient Greeks, it was suggested that humans could change the temperature and affect rainfall by cutting down trees, plowing land or irrigating deserts.
  One theory of climate impact, widely believed until the American Dust Bowl in the 1930s, was that “the rain goes with the plow,” in which tilling the soil and other agricultural practices lead to increased rainfall. This view has now been questioned.
  Accurate or not, these perceived climate impacts are only partial. The idea that humans could somehow alter the climate on a global scale seemed out of reach for centuries.
02 1827: The “greenhouse effect” theory was born

  The British brought the industrial revolution to the world and started the process of human modernization. The first industrial revolution was a technological revolution represented by the steam engine, and it was also an energy revolution, replacing manpower with coal. Before the middle of the 18th century, coal production in Britain was around 20 million tons. With the widespread use of steam engines, by the end of the 19th century, the highest coal output in Britain reached 100 million tons. “The train emits black smoke, which not only damages the fields and prevents the grain from growing, but also poisons the grass. The cows are frightened by the roar of the train.” So Dickens said, “This is the best time, It’s the worst of times.”
  In 1827, the French physicist Fourier proposed that the energy reaching Earth in the form of sunlight must be balanced with the energy returning to space because heated surfaces produce radiation. But he reasoned that some of that energy couldn’t go back into space, but was kept in the atmosphere to keep Earth warm. He proposes that Earth’s thin layer of air—the atmosphere—acts like a glass greenhouse, where energy enters through glass walls but is trapped inside, like a warm room.
03 1856: Carbon dioxide absorbs heat like a sponge

  In 1856, research by scientist and women’s rights activist Eunice Newton Foote further explored this theory. Her experiments using glass cylinders demonstrated that the heating effect of the sun is greater in moist air than in dry air, with the highest degree of heating occurring in a cylinder containing carbon dioxide. Eunice’s discovery influenced Irish scientist John Tyndall.

Tyndall’s experimental setup

  Three years later, Tyndall discovered that different gases absorb heat differently under long-wave infrared radiation, among which gas (including carbon dioxide, methane and volatile hydrocarbons) absorbs energy particularly well. He eventually demonstrated that carbon dioxide alone acts like a sponge, absorbing multiple wavelengths of sunlight. This confirms the link between the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and what has come to be known as the greenhouse effect. And Tyndall himself was hailed as “the father of modern climate science” by later generations.
04 1895: Discovery of the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature

  By 1895, Swedish chemist Svant Arrhenius (1903 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) began to study the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and Earth’s temperature. His calculations show that if the level of carbon dioxide is halved, the global temperature will drop by about 5°C; and conversely, if the level of carbon dioxide is doubled, the global temperature will increase by the same amount – 5°C. Decades later, modern climate models have confirmed that Arrhenius’ numbers were not far off.

05 1938: Global warming proposed for the first time

  Yet back in the 1890s, the idea of ​​a warming planet was remote or even popular. “The frost was late, and the Northland, which had not seen wheat and crocodiles for centuries, could now harvest wheat and catch crocodiles.” As Arrhenius wrote, “due to the carbon dioxide (carbon dioxide) ratio in the atmosphere With the increase of , we are likely to enjoy a more stable and more suitable climate, especially in the colder parts of the earth.”
  In 1938, steam engineer Guy Callender began painstakingly collecting records from 147 weather stations around the world. Using hand calculations, he found that global temperatures have risen by 0.3°C over the past 50 years. Callender believes that carbon dioxide emitted by industry is responsible for global warming. However, this has been largely ignored by other scientists, who don’t believe humans can affect systems as large as climate.
  Although met with skepticism, Callender succeeded in drawing attention to the possibility of global warming. This focus has in part led to the first government-funded projects to more closely monitor climate and carbon dioxide levels. Remarkably, despite the crude method used, Callender’s estimates of global warming were remarkably accurate.
06 1958: Fossil fuels are to blame

  In 1958, a young geochemist named Charles David Keeling decided to compare the carbon dioxide levels in water and air. No one had actually attempted to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide levels before, so he didn’t have the equipment readily available to use. He designed the instruments himself and traveled to a weather observatory atop Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano. Once there, he took meticulous measurements every day and provided the first clear data in five years that carbon dioxide levels were rising. What’s more, by analyzing the carbon dioxide in the samples, Dr Keeling was able to attribute the rise to fossil fuel use. Although some scientists in the 19th century had made similar inferences, it was basically a hypothesis.

Keeling Curve

  Dr. Keeling’s discovery is one of the most important scientific achievements of the 20th century. Since then, daily readings on Mauna Loa have continued almost uninterrupted for more than 60 years. The “Keeling Curve” records the change in carbon dioxide concentration over time and is the longest continuous record of carbon dioxide concentration in the world. The upward jagged curve shows a steady rise in carbon dioxide levels, accompanied by brief, jagged rises and falls in levels of the gas produced by repeated wintering and greening in the northern hemisphere.
07 1967: First simulation of climate change

  In 1967, researchers Yoshiro Manabe (co-winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics) and Richard Weiseld produced the world’s first accurate computer model of Earth’s climate to study all the factors that affect climate different components, including the atmosphere, oceans, clouds, and their relationship; it even allows researchers to adjust the level of carbon dioxide and see how this affects global temperatures. “We estimate that doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would cause an increase in atmospheric temperature (relative humidity) of about 2°C over the next century,” they wrote. We now know that measurements from pre-industrial to today are consistent with This prediction fits very well – carbon dioxide has increased by about 50% since the 1880s, and temperatures have risen by 1.1°C.
08 1968: Scientists predict ice caps are melting

  In 1968, glaciologist John Moser found evidence of a freshwater lake at a height of 1,400 meters in the Transantarctic Mountains during his fieldwork on the Reed Glacier in West Antarctica. Evidence that the ice sheet once melted. His landmark paper shows that during the last interglacial period, about 120,000 years ago, sea levels rose by 6 meters and temperatures were 6-7°C higher than today.
  His research called the West Antarctic Ice Sheet a “unique, fragile and unstable ice body”, and also gave a theoretical derivation in physics. Hollow out” model. The increase in atmospheric temperature will lead to an increase in the temperature of sea water. The warmer sea water will melt the ice sheet from below. When the ice sheet is hollowed out from below, its edge will become an ice shelf (floating ice) and lose its support. , easy to break into icebergs and drift away. Moser warned that warming of the atmosphere could again cause ice shelves to disintegrate and sea levels to rise by about 5 meters. Moser was the first to publicly suggest that melting polar ice caps would cause sea level rise, destroying coastal cities.

Cracks in the Larsen C Ice Shelf (2017)

  His warning came true 30 years later: In 1995, the huge Larsen A ice shelf in Antarctica collapsed; then in 2002, the Larsen B ice shelf collapsed; the remaining C ice shelf became the largest ice shelf, but in 2017 A huge rift has appeared, and it has now entered a period of rapid disintegration. In 2021, the world’s largest iceberg will also disintegrate.
09 1969: Satellites measure Earth’s temperature for the first time

  Launched into orbit, NASA’s Nimbus III satellite provided the world’s first precise measurement of global atmospheric temperature, revolutionizing the way scientists study Earth’s climate, weather systems and atmosphere.
  First launched in 1964, this series of satellites has provided us with unprecedented data on global temperature, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the ozone layer and the thickness of sea ice for 30 years. This independent satellite record confirms that Earth’s lower atmosphere is warming.
10 1985: An 800,000-year-old climate record is hidden in an ice core

  Ice cores are time capsules of Earth that provide critical information about the planet’s past climate. Bubbles sealed in the ice provide a unique snapshot of the atmosphere at the time, and scientists can also calculate Earth’s past surface temperature by analyzing the ratio of “heavy” oxygen and hydrogen atoms. The deeper you dig, the farther back in time you can look.
  So, when a team of French and Soviet scientists extracted a more than 2,000-meter-long Antarctic ice core in 1985, they were able to tell what the atmosphere was like 150,000 years ago. In 1998, the team extracted a much longer ice core, extending the climate record to 420,000 years ago. Both ice cores showed a clear time-varying relationship between greenhouse gas levels and Antarctic temperature—that is, as greenhouse gases increase, so do temperatures. What’s more, current levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane are higher than at any time in the past 420,000 years.
  In 2004, a team of ice core scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) extracted a 3-kilometer-long ice core from Antarctica, which contained the Earth’s climate record from 800,000 years ago, providing us with information from The oldest continuous climate record obtained in ice cores. Antarctic ice cores tell us that over the past 1,000 years, the concentration of carbon dioxide remained stable until the early 1800s, then it started to rise, and it is now nearly 50 percent higher than it was before the Industrial Revolution.

11 1985: A void that shocked the world

  The ozone layer in Earth’s atmosphere naturally protects us from UV rays, so the world was shocked in 1985 when three scientists from the BAS reported that they had detected unusually low levels of ozone over the Antarctic.

  Scientists believe that compounds called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), commonly used in aerosol cans and refrigerators, may be to blame. Their findings led to the creation of the Montreal Protocol (1987) – calling for the reduction and total ban of CFCs. One of the most successful global environmental policies of the 20th century, the Montreal Protocol raised public awareness of climate change. The Antarctic ozone hole is now slowly healing.
12 1988: Global Warming Becomes Reality

  In June 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen presented testimony and models to Congress saying he was “99 percent sure” that global warming was affecting us. Many experts point to 1988 as a pivotal turning point that brought global warming into focus and scientists who sounded the alarm about climate change began to receive wider media and public attention.
13 1989: A new era for IPCC climate research

  A year later, in 1989, the United Nations established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to provide scientific perspective on climate change and its political and economic implications. So far, IPCC has published six assessment reports written by world-renowned climate change experts, which can be said to be the most comprehensive scientific reports on global climate change.
  Since 1990, these reports have consistently pointed to the fact that the planet is warming and that human emissions of greenhouse gases are to blame. As global warming becomes a reality, researchers have set out to delve into and predict the likely consequences of a warming climate, including severe heat waves, droughts and more powerful hurricanes triggered by rising ocean surface temperatures.
14 1992: Coral reefs under threat

  Scientists have realized that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the oceans are making it harder for corals and other animals to form reefs. When carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean, it increases the acidity of the water, which prevents corals from absorbing an important mineral called calcium carbonate, which they use to build their skeletons. American scientists Professors Stephen Smith and Robert Badmeyer were the first to warn of the consequences of ocean acidification.
  It’s not just corals that are at risk, but all shell-forming organisms, including oysters, mussels, clams and some plankton. For example, research by Dr Steve Widdicomb has shown that heart-shaped sea urchins are highly vulnerable to ocean acidification, and that digging organisms such as sea urchins, like earthworms, are vital for agitating the seabed and releasing nutrients for other organisms to use. important marine life.
15 1994: The first climate change legislation goes into effect

  The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the first international treaty aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions and preventing climate change, entered into force in March 1994. This also led directly to the introduction of the Kyoto Protocol (1995), which committed industrialized countries and economies to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions according to agreed individual targets. It has since been superseded by the Paris Agreement (2015), which legally obliges countries to reduce carbon emissions in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
16 1996: Carbon capture, carbon storage

  Carbon capture is the storage underground of greenhouse gases produced by factories, power plants and other sources. This is to prevent carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and further contributing to global warming.
  The world’s first commercial CO2 storage project began operations in 1996 at the Sleipna gas field in the Norwegian North Sea. Since then, about 1 million tons of carbon dioxide have been captured and stored from natural gas each year—equivalent to the annual emissions of 10 million cars.
17 2004: Linking extreme weather to climate change

  Is it just a coincidence that flash floods and heat waves occur every year? Until a few years ago, people could not accurately link extreme weather and climate change. However, this changed in 2004. Professor Peter Stott, a scientist at the Met Office at the time, published a paper in the journal Nature showing that climate change doubled the risk of a heatwave in Europe that killed tens of thousands of people.
  His discovery sparked a scientific movement at the time called “Attribution of Extreme Events.” Scientists today are already able to calculate with great accuracy the impact of global warming on droughts, heat waves and floods.
18 2007: The Arctic is warming twice as fast as other regions

  The “International Polar Year” in 2007-2008 was the largest activity to explore the earth’s polar regions so far. About 50,000 scientists, students and logistics personnel from more than 60 countries gathered together to unravel the secrets of the North and South Poles. What they found is worrying: The Greenland ice sheet, parts of the Antarctic ice sheet and Arctic sea ice are melting at rates unprecedented in the past 10,000 years, and climate change is already having a huge impact on life forms across the food chain, from microbes to polar bears influences.
  The poles are warming faster than the rest of the planet, one of the key predictions of climate models. The acceleration of warming is related to the “ice albedo feedback” effect: ice is very reflective, so a large amount of solar radiation reaches the surface and bounces back into space; With less, the surface absorbs more light and heat, leading to increased warming.
  Another concern for climate scientists is methane. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas with about 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide. In cold seawater, it usually exists on the seafloor as methane hydrate. However, if ocean temperatures rise, methane bubbles could rise to the surface, leading to a warmer atmosphere. During the International Polar Year, scientists watched this happen. A powerful plume of the greenhouse gas methane is rising from the seafloor on the northern Norwegian island of Spitsbergen as scientists survey the Arctic sea floor. A 1°C increase in temperature in recent decades means that once-stable methane hydrates are breaking down, releasing methane. This is the first time scientists have found evidence that this seepage is due to warming oceans.
19 2015: Landmark agreement reached

  The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. The convention was adopted by 196 countries on December 12, 2015 and entered into force on November 4, 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. As part of the agreement, countries set their own legally binding greenhouse gas reduction targets and report on progress every five years.
20 2019: Ice collapse ‘irreversible’

  Part of West Antarctica’s Amundsen Bay ice sheet may have passed a tipping point and collapse is inevitable, a special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned. Since 2018, researchers have been taking a suite of measurements on two Antarctic glaciers — Thwaites Glacier, dubbed the “Glacier of Doom,” and Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica’s largest and fastest-moving glacier — that make up the Part of the Amundsen Gulf. Climate models suggest that when this plate collapses, it could disrupt the rest of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in a domino-like fashion, causing sea levels to rise by 3 meters over centuries to millennia; meanwhile, Part of the East Antarctic ice sheet, known as the Wilkes subglacial basin, is also likely to be unstable; the Greenland ice sheet is also melting at an accelerated rate, and sea levels could rise by a further 7 meters. Models show that the Greenland ice sheet will collapse when Earth’s temperature rises 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, which could happen as early as 2030.
21 2019: Life is disappearing at an ‘unprecedented’ rate

  A 2019 United Nations report said the number of native species on Earth has declined dramatically since 1900. Written by 145 experts from 50 countries, the report is the most comprehensive assessment of global biodiversity ever done. The study found that at least 680 species of vertebrates have become extinct since the 16th century; more than 40 percent of amphibian species are now at risk of extinction; and more than a third of marine mammals and reef-forming corals are also threatened. The main factors leading to mass extinctions are changes in land and sea use, exploitation of biological resources, climate change, pollution, and the introduction of alien species.
22 2021: Many climate changes are inevitable and irreversible

  Scientists predict that global temperatures will rise by 1.5°C by 2040, far earlier than initially warned. This accelerated warming will lead to more heat waves, severe storms, and droughts and floods. The IPCC’s latest assessment report issued its strongest warning yet about the growing climate emergency, saying “we have observed changes in Earth’s climate unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years,” including stronger Rainfall and flooding, more severe droughts, rising sea levels in coastal areas, thawing permafrost, ocean acidification, and more, are changes “without a doubt” caused by humans burning fossil fuels.
  If we can significantly reduce carbon emissions in the next 10 years, it may not be too late to prevent a further 2°C increase in temperature.
  Climate change is a global issue that has attracted the attention of countries all over the world. If we fail to control greenhouse gas emissions, their adverse effects will become more apparent. The experience of the hole in the ozone layer may tell us that in the face of the increasingly serious climate crisis, we need all our compatriots on the earth to work together and act together!

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