By Yara Del Rio-Dominguez |Staff Writer|
An international panel of climate scientists concluded that the Earth may enter an irreversible climate change if we don’t reduce our fossil fuel emissions.
The International Panel of Climate Control (IPCC) released a report warning all countries of the need to reduce all emissions.
“The burning of fossil fuels is affecting life on every continent and in the oceans and the window is closing rapidly for governments to avert catastrophic damage,” stated climate scientists in their report.
We see some of the irreversible climate changes already in effect.
Trapped gases have already contributed to some of the effects we see today, such as the rising sea levels, heat waves, and droughts.
There are more heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere than in the last 800,000 years, most which came from the industrialization of the 1800’s, according to the IPCC.
All of which affect the water we have available to water our crops, hurting our economy.
“We have seen over time that most reports have underestimated how bad the change would be. Things have happened much more quickly and severely than was anticipated,” said CSUSB Professor Erik Melchoirre.
Debates over what levels of fossil fuel emissions are considered dangerous between developing countries in the United Nations have put a hold on all agreements on cutting heat-trapping emissions.
The report was released in an effort to encourage an immediate response to reduce all fossil fuel emissions.
“You can’t wait several decades to address this issue,” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group for a healthy planet.
The longer we wait to cut down on fossil fuels, the more it may cost to recover.
Fossil fuels and everything they power rose to prominence during the Industrial Revolution.
“The U.S. should find a new source of energy. Gas obviously isn’t a reliable source if in the long run it’s causing irreversible climate changes,” said CSUSB student Matthew Bravo.
The U.S. surely welcomed the IPCC’s report, and is willing to take more initiative towards reducing fossil fuel consumption.
Global Climate Change, a NASA website, says 97 percent of climate scientists agree that warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, according to the Associated Press.
In the U.S., transportation and electricity are two of the largest contributors to the burning of fossil fuels.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. has established a few ways we can reduce emissions through buying more energy efficient appliances or doing something as simple as turning off lights and electronics when they are not in use.
The steps taken so far by countries to reduce emissions are not enough, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“The U.S. should look into fining people. Maybe then they’ll be more aware of how much they are contributing to the increasing climate change,” said student Richard Burrud.
The IPCC is hoping nations will reduce their fossil fuel emissions by the end of the century to minimize possible future climate changes.