Sunday, December 13, 2015

There won’t be much left to ruin

Most Climate Change Damage Will Happen Before the Two-Degrees Warming Threshold

By Zoe Schlanger, Newsweek
12 December 15

Most discourse regarding climate change is based around a simple premise: The more the Earth warms, the greater the damage done to the planet. But in new paper published in Nature Geoscience, a team of researchers found that presupposition is fundamentally flawed. The reality, they write, is more ominous.

Almost all the damage from climate change to vulnerable categories like coral reefs, freshwater availability and plantlife could happen before two degrees Celsius warming, the internationally recognized “do not cross” danger threshold. Beyond that point, further warming might have a relatively small impact. That’s because, as Ken Caldeira, an environmental scientist at Stanford University and an author of the paper, put it, there won’t be much left to ruin.

“Once you've killed off the coral reefs you are no longer at risk of killing off the coral reefs,” he said.

(Continued here.)

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