A degree by degree explanation of what will happen when the earth warms

[Articles and opinion pieces published in this blog do not necessarily reflect the polices and opinions of the organizers of the International Conference on Degrowth in the Americas. They are posted here to stimulate discussion and debate on issues relevant to degrowth.]

Even if greenhouse emissions stopped overnight the concentrations already in the atmosphere would still mean a global rise of between 0.5 and 1C. A shift of a single degree is barely perceptible to human skin, but it’s not human skin we’re talking about. It’s the planet; and an average increase of one degree across its entire surface means huge changes in climatic extremes.

Six thousand years ago, when the world was one degree warmer than it is now, the American agricultural heartland around Nebraska was desert. It suffered a short reprise during the dust- bowl years of the 1930s, when the topsoil blew away and hundreds of thousands of refugees trailed through the dust to an uncertain welcome further west. The effect of one-degree warming, therefore, requires no great feat of imagination.

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3 Responses to A degree by degree explanation of what will happen when the earth warms

  1. michael says:

    oops.. duh, i guess we are a suicidal societal species…duh….sorry kids…sorry other lifeforms…sorry gaia…sorry god(s)

  2. Pingback: A degree by degree explanation of what will happen when as the earth warms | Degrowth / Decroissance Canada

  3. jp says:

    Wow, it’s unbelievable how the social analysis is thin, if not plain wrong in this piece. Sure, society will fall apart and people will start eating each other…

    Ever heard of human solidarity in front of disasters? Is the author aware of the fantastic networks that are emerging everywhere around food security and food sovereignty? Why not start taking charge of our future instead of repeating the same old scary stories?…

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