Dangerous levels of warming could happen in your lifetime
It's easy for a lot of people to ignore climate change, because it's not going to affect them, it'll only affect their children. If they don't have children, all the better! Who cares! Well, two new research papers in the latest Nature warn that most of the world could be seeing dangerous levels of global warming — 3.6 degrees or more — by 2060. In other words, very plausibly within the lifetime of most of the people reading this. A lot of places, including Europe, Asia, and Canada, could be seeing a similar increase by 2030.
Things aren't completely screwed — we can still hold off dangerous levels of climate change with major emissions cuts. But, uh, they are kind of a little completely screwed:
If emissions are substantially lowered, the two degree [Celsius] threshold might be delayed by up to several decades, [the report] added.
However, even if global temperature rises are kept under two degrees by aggressive emissions cuts, some regions will still not avoid warming and the likelihood of extreme events such as heatwaves is still high in even a marginally warmer world.
And we're talking MAJOR emissions cuts to have a hope of delaying the rise to unsafe temperatures. The reports say that global emissions would have to peak by 2020 and then fall to 44 gigatons per year (more than currently, but less than the theoretical peak) to have even a 66 percent chance of staving off the critical rise in temperature.