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Published on May 13th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer

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Humans Won't Survive on Half of Earth by 2300

May 13th, 2010 by  


Average global temperatures, that have been rising for a century already, due to anthropogenic climate change, won’t suddenly stop rising in 2100, say Australian and US scientists in a study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Up to half of the planet would become uninhabitable by the 2300s with an average global temperature rise of 21.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

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This would make much larger regions into uninhabitable deserts than now. Humans would not be able to adapt or survive in such conditions.

“If this happens, our current worries about sea level rise, occasional heat waves and bushfires, biodiversity loss and agricultural difficulties will pale into insignificance beside a major threat – as much as half the currently inhabited globe may simply become too hot for people to live there,” said Professor Tony McMichael, one of the authors.

Just 300 short years from now – after a relatively brief period of enjoyment of the planet compared with the dinosaurs – we could see temperatures that humans can no longer survive.

The scientists give the 21.6 degrees Fahrenheit rise a 50/50 chance. We might be able keep it to a merely disastrous 12.6 degrees global average by 2300. So far we have seen only a few degrees rise in global average temperatures. (Global average temperatures comprise the sum of increases and decreases in different regions.)

That climate change won’t stop happening in 2100 is not news. But this study manages to spell out clearly enough what that will mean  – and manages to get it written up at at least one major news outlet in the developed world – The Telegraph.

As Treehugger points out, it is only 300 years since the Enlightenment in Europe that propelled reason and empirical evidence to the forefront, allowing the development of all science.

Science made possible the development and exploitation of dirty energy and science uncovered the effects of greenhouse gases and science developed the clean energy that could replace dirty energy safely.

Even before the Enlightenment,  we survived at least 200,000 years as a species with brains: Homo Sapiens. 
 


 


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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



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