With the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 26 in November and leaked reports of nations still not ready to let go of harmful fossil fuels, the latest research has shown that the Earth may turn into a completely different planet by 2500. The study, published in Global Change Biology, paints a haunting picture of the earth that will turn hostile towards its own residents. For their study, the team of researchers from Montreal and the United Kingdom ran global climate model projections based on time-dependent projections of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations for low, medium, and high mitigation scenarios up to the year 2500. Scientists focused their study on three major regions for their study, the North American ‘breadbasket’, the Amazon Basin carbon sink, and the densely populated Indian subcontinent. Their findings have revealed that unless greenhouse gas emissions drop significantly, global warming by 2500 will make the Amazon rainforests barren, the American Midwest a tropical zone, and the Indian subcontinent too hot to be habitable by humans.
The projections have revealed that under the low and medium mitigation scenarios, which do not meet the 2015 Paris Agreement goal to contain global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, vegetation and the fertile crop-growing areas may move towards the polar regions. Meanwhile, the area which will be suitable for some crops would also be reduced.
Lead author of the study Christopher Lyon, formerly of the University of Leeds and now a Postdoctoral Researcher at McGill University said in a statement, “We need to envision the Earth our children and grandchildren may face, and what we can do now to make it just and liveable for them,” Lyon further added, that if the global community fails to meet the Paris Agreement goals, and emissions keep rising, many places in the world will dramatically change. The team of researchers have also mentioned in the statement that to fully understand and plan for climate impacts under any scenario, researchers and policymakers must look and plan beyond the 2100 benchmark.