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Leading indicators of the climate crisis are reaching “inflection point”

A new study of the planet’s vital signs has revealed that many of the leading indicators of the climate crisis are getting worse and approaching or exceeding tipping points as temperatures rise.

Overall, the study found that 16 of the 31 planetary vital signs studied, including greenhouse gas concentrations, ocean heat and ice mass, reached worrying new records, reported this Wednesday the Guardian.

“There is growing evidence that we are approaching or already surpassing inflection points associated with important parts of the Earth’s system,” said William Ripple, an ecologist at Oregon State University in the United States (USA), co-author of the new research. .

According to Ripple, “a big lesson from covid-19 is that even a colossal reduction in transport and consumption is not enough and that system changes are needed instead.”

While the pandemic has crippled economies, fossil fuel use declined only slightly in 2020. However, the emission of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide set new records both this year and 2021, according to a report published in BioScience.

This new study found that ruminant animals, a significant source of gases that warm the planet, are now over 4 billion, their total mass greater than that of all humans and wildlife combined. The Amazon loss rate increased in 2019 and 2020, reaching 1.11 million hectares deforested in 2020.

Ocean acidification, combined with warmer temperatures, threatens the coral reefs on which more than millions of people depend.

To change the course of the climate emergency, the authors indicated that deep changes are needed, and it is necessary to establish a global price for carbon, which is linked to a fund that finances climate mitigation and adaptation policies.

The authors further highlighted the need to eliminate fossil fuels and develop global reserves to protect and restore natural carbon sinks and biodiversity. THE climate education it should also be part of school curricula around the world, they stressed.

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