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New Study: Catastrophic Climate Change Within A Decade

Lizzie Pereira |
October 10, 2013 | 11:30 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Coral reefs will be among the first species affected. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.
Coral reefs will be among the first species affected. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.
Startling new research predicts temperatures will soon be racing to alarming new extremes. 

The study published by the University of Hawaii on Oct. 9 in the newest issue of “Journal” found that by 2047 historic temperature levels will surpass records that have held steady since 1865. 

What’s more is the coldest temperatures on Earth will be higher than the current hottest temperatures. 

Lead researcher Camilo Mora said, “The result shocked us. Regardless of the scenario, changes will be coming soon. Within my generation, whatever climate we were used to will be a thing of the past.” 

Researchers studied 39 Earth System models that had been developed by 21 climate centers in 12 different countries. They examined at evaporation, precipitation, ocean surface temperature and pH levels.

The resulting data shows that the clock is ticking as some parts of the world, like Indonesia, will experience these dramatic climate changes as early as 2020. And tropical areas will be impacted the soonest. Researches said that these countries that will be impacted first are the ones with the least economic capability to react. 

As for the U.S. Honolulu and Phoenix would be the first to feel the changes, followed by San Diego and Orlando in 2046. New York and Washington would witness new climate changes around 2047 with Los Angeles following soon after.

Mora told NBC News, “We are used to the climate that we live in. With this climate change what is going to happen is we’re going to be moving outside this comfort zone.”

Outside our comforts zone indeed. By 2050 between 1 and 5 billion people will be living in areas with an unprecedented climate. 

SEE ALSO: U.N. Blames Climate Change On Humanity

And even if greenhouse gas emissions are stabilized, researchers say the catastrophic changes are irreversible and can only be delayed by about 20 years.

“It is going to be uncomfortable for us as humans and it will be very uncomfortable for species as well,” Mora said.

This means that species will have to adapt to drastically different living environments or find new habitats altogether. Some species won’t be as lucky, and will ultimately not survive the changes. Coral reefs will be one of the first species affected around 2030.  

According to Mora, these shocking results stress just how essential it is to take action sooner rather than later.

“Our findings shed light on the urgency of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions is climates potentially harmful to biodiversity and society are to be prevented.” 

Reach Executive Producer Lizzie Pereira here



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