Even If The World Meets Its Climate Targets, Half Of All Glaciers Will Be Gone In 77 Years


In the latest instalment of Humanity’s Fucked: Half of Earth’s glaciers will be gone by 2100 even if every single nation meets its unlikely climate targets under the Paris Agreement.

According to a new climate change report published on Thursday, 49 per cent of all the glaciers on the planet will disappear under the best-case scenario of 1.5C of global warming.

Under the most likely outcome of 2.7C of warming, at least 68 per cent of glaciers will be gone by the end of the century. We will be left with almost no glaciers left in central Europe, western Canada and the US and yes, sea levels will rise considerably.

If global temps only rise by 1.5C, the report predicts average sea levels will increase by 90mm from 2015 to 2100. But if we continue on our current 2.7C of warming trajectory, seas will rise at least 115mm. These rise estimates are also 23 per cent higher than previous modelling, by the way. This shit is a lot worse than we thought.

The projected sea level rise will threaten up to 2 billion people with water shortages for the areas that get their water from glaciers and the increased risk of flooding in low-lying areas. Double water whammy.

So why does it seem like things are getting worse?

Going back one step, a while ago 194 countries signed the Paris Agreement and committed to reducing their greenhouse emissions to ensure global warming would be limited to 1.5C above industrial levels. 1.5C of warming is still very bad, as we’ve already seen from the extreme weather events in Australia and around the world in recent years, but it avoids the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

But to achieve a cap of 1.5C, global emissions need to fall by half by 2030, which is looking increasingly unlikely given emissions are still rising.

The 1.5C scenario is now pretty much unattainable because experts from all corners of the climate science community say we’ve made basically zero progress on the targets we set to achieve it.

One UN report published in October concluded that, given the “woefully inadequate” progress made on emissions reductions in recent years, there was now “no credible pathway to 1.5C in place”.

This means that even if all countries meet their 2030 targets, global temperatures will still likely rise to about 2.5C by the end of the century which would, quite literally, condemn the world to a complete breakdown.

The only way to, you know, save us all, is immediate, drastic, society-altering action.

Researchers on the new paper wrote: “The rapidly increasing glacier mass losses as global temperature increases beyond 1.5C stresses the urgency of establishing more ambitious climate pledges to preserve the glaciers in these mountainous regions.”

Our global efforts are not enough, and don’t even get me started on Australia’s pathetic contributions.