Since 1975, the world has been warming at an alarming rate, with scientists stating the global temperature has risen by roughly 0.15-0.20C per decade thanks to climate change. While this figure seems relatively low, global warming is undoubtably having an effect on the polar ice caps which continue to melt.
Since 1979, the volume of ice in the Arctic, or North Pole, has shrunk by an astonishing 80 percent – which scientists have warned will cause major sea level rises.
If just the West Antarctic Ice sheet, where the Pine Island Glacier is located, were to completely melt, sea levels would rise by three metres.
Climate models have shown that a sea level rise of more than two metres could permanently submerge large parts of the British coastline with the likes of Hull, Peterborough, Portsmouth and parts of East London and the Thames Estuary all under threat.
The planet has already seen an increase of 1C compared to pre-industrial levels which will contribute massively to the melting of the ice caps and subsequent sea level rise.
As it stands, sea levels are rising at about 8mm a year due to melting ice, and while that does not seem like much, the implications for future generations could be huge.
Between 1993 and 2014, sea levels rose by 66mm – or roughly 3mm per year. If it continues at the current rate, or gets faster, it could mean coastal cities such as New York could be submerged by the end of the century.
Now, experts warn that we must tackle climate change as if we were fighting World War 3.
A team of climate scientists from Australia have penned a piece for The Conversation, stating that governments have let humanity down and now we have a sizeable task on our hands.
The researchers wrote: “We are a group of experts in physics, geology, science education, coral reefs and climate system science.
“We believe the lack of progress by governments in reducing global emissions means bold solutions are now urgently needed.
“We must fight climate change like it’s World War III – and battle on many fronts.”
The scientists propose many ways in which this war can be fought, including planting many more trees and plants to help absorb carbon dioxide and building reflective surfaces on the ground to reflect the Sun’s rays and make the planet slightly cooler.
Another way would be to turn carbon dioxide into rock: “Carbon mineralisation involves turning carbon dioxide into carbonate minerals by emulating the way seashells and limestone are made naturally.
“Many techniques have been researched and proposed. These include capturing carbon dioxide from industrial plants and bubbling it through brine from desalination plants, or capturing it from nickel mine tailings using bacteria.
“Huge quantities of CO₂ can potentially be captured in this way, creating useful building materials as a by-product.”
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Finally, the researchers argue that a global HQ needs to be established.
The said: “the war demands a central headquarters providing leadership, information and coordination – perhaps a greatly expanded version of the Greenhouse Office established under the Howard Coalition government in 1998 (but later merged into another government department).
“The office should provide, among other things, information on the climate cost of every item we use, both to aid consumer choice and tax climate-harming products.
“Some technologies may prove too costly, too risky, or too slow to implement. All require careful governance, leadership and public engagement to ensure community backing.
“But as global greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow, governments must deploy every weapon available – not only to win the war, but to prevent the terrible social cost of despair.”
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