Ground Report | New Delhi: What future awaits water; Volcanic activity, orbital cycles, solar radiation, there are many natural factors that can influence the terrestrial climate system, but none of them could be defined as the main author of the climate crime that our planet is experiencing.
To find the person responsible for this atrocity, one would have to look precisely to the other side, to the artificial and human, as it has the keys that unite the pieces of this striking planetary puzzle. Not fate says so, but rather the conclusions of the First Working Group of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which affirm with “high confidence” that it is “ unequivocal to say that human influence has caused the change. climate ”.
In its lines you can read statements as resounding as that the concentrations of greenhouse gases emitted since around 1750 have gradually warmed our planet to reach 1.09 degrees Celsius compared to the temperature before the industrial revolution, having 1.07 ° C fully human signature.
It also states that, at the current rate of emissions, global temperature will rise 2.7 ° C by the end of the century compared to the pre-industrial average. To find a similar scenario, you would have to go back about three million years in time.
However, climate change not only acts as a kind of synonym for alterations in the climate or a high concentration of greenhouse gases, but it is also synonymous with changes in the water itself, as this resource is presented as “the main component of this climate system transformed by human action ”. From it, in their report they extract a series of keys:
What future awaits water
The more than 200 experts of the First Group point out in the first instance that their cycle has been altered at least since 1980 by the increase in temperatures, manifesting itself, above all, in an increase in rainfall on the earth at higher latitudes. from the Northern Hemisphere since 1950.
Worldwide, experts estimate that rainfall may increase by 2100 up to 2.4%, although everything will depend on the emission scenarios in which we move, since, in the smallest of them, the rains could increase at least 1.5%, while in the most pessimistic scenario we could be talking about 12.9%.
However, this excess of rainfall would be clouded by evapotranspiration, that is, that amount of water that is returned to the atmosphere as a result of evaporation itself and the transpiration of plants. Such processes have increased the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere since 1980 and have reduced the presence of the liquid element in the soil, notably increasing the risk of droughts and desertification .
In this sense, it highlights the growing upward trend in the number of cyclones and hurricanes, which are also fueled by the increase in ocean temperatures. The US Office of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for example, already echoed this inclination when it updated its hurricane statistics over the Atlantic.
According to their data, named storms have gone from an average of 12 in the period 1981 – 2010 to 14 for the period 1991 – 2020. Hurricanes have done the same from six to seven, while hurricanes with categories three or higher continue stuck at three.
Receding ice, rising oceans
Given its properties, water takes different forms on our planet. For this reason, its gaseous state has not been the only one that has been scrutinized, but the cryosphere has also received special attention from experts.
In a previous special report, IPCC authors warned of the rapid deterioration of this frozen layer of the world, with special emphasis on glaciers as these are the great water stores on which millions of people in the world depend.
With the new document, some of those conclusions are re-exposed, stating that it would be necessary to go back 1,000 years in time to see the summer falls in the extent of the current Arctic sea ice, and 2,000 years to experience a similar retreat of glaciers.
“In the next 2000 years, the global mean sea level will rise between two and three meters if warming is limited to 1.5 ° C, between two and six meters if it is limited to 2 ° C and from 19 to 22 meters with 5 ° C of warming ”, affirms from the IPCC. (What future awaits water)
The most hopeful scenarios are, however, a utopia for the IPCC, which believes that the long-awaited goal of 1.5 ° C will be unfulfilled in the next two decades. In order to reach the goal of 1.5 ° C proposed after the Paris Agreement, humanity will have to stick to a very low emissions scenario in the short term, and even then it could be possible that the threshold could be exceeded for a few years.