Radical climate change just around the corner - within 34 years
PARIS (AFP) - Earth may experience a radically different climate already within 34 years, forever changing life as we know it, said a study on Wednesday that aims to bring the dangers of global warming into sharper focus.
On current trends of greenhouse-gas emissions, 2047 will mark the year at which the climate at most places on Earth will shift beyond documented extremes, it said. This date is pushed back to 2069 under a scenario in which fossil-fuel burning emissions are stabilised, said an analysis of climate projections published in the journal Nature.
"The results shocked us," lead author Camilo Mora of the University of Hawaii's geography department said of the findings. "Within my generation, whatever climate we are used to will be a thing of the past."
Most climate studies predict average, global shifts by a randomly-chosen cutoff date like 2100. The new study took a different tack by distinguishing between different areas of the world, and seeking to identify the year in which climate change will cross the threshold where weather events once viewed as extreme become the norm. It looked at effects such as air and sea-surface temperature, rainfall and ocean acidity.