While I sit here on my table writing this article, I can feel the sweat dripping from my face and the inherent humidity in the air, even though I’m perched right below a fan in Bangalore. So for people out there feeling flustered with hot flahses, let me give you some hot but not so happening news. Meteorologists state that 2020 is most likely to be earth’s hottest year on record. And even though humanity is currently home quarantined, and nature is healing and showering us with better air quality, cleaner rivers and greener parks, this year is still going to get very very hot.
What’s In It?
Researchers at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) state to the Guardian that there is a 75 percent chance that 2020 is going to be the hottest year recorded ever, in the history of humanity. Even though we have witnessed a significant reduction in emissions and pollution levels due to the coronavirus lockdown, the situation isn’t going to get any better. Scientists reveal that a ton of greenhouse gases are already trapped in the atmosphere. As per NOAA, this year will definitely be listed in the top hottest years ever recorded, even if it isn’t hotter than the hottest year ever recorded i.e 2016.
Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford stated “The emissions will go down this year, but the concentrations keep on rising. We are very unlikely to be able to notice any slowdown in the built-up of atmospheric GHG levels.” She further revealed to the Guardian, “’But we have the unique chance now to reconsider our choices and use the corona crisis as a catalyst for more sustainable means of transport and energy production (via incentives, taxes, carbon prices etc).” In a report by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, it’s revealed that there is a 60 per cent chance that 2020 will surpass 2016’s record temperatures.
While the hot flashes might get to us, it isn’t all that surprising that 2020 will most probably be one of the hottest years on Earth. In Antarctica during February, the temperature reached 20 degrees celsius, which is one of the hottest winters ever experienced. This resulted in bears from other parts of the world not hibernating like they usually do, putting them at harm. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Johan Rockström names the ‘tipping elements’ that can result in such catastrophe on our planet. Tipping elements like loss of methane hydrates from the ocean floor, permafrost thaw, weakening land and ocean carbon sinks, loss of Arctic summer ice sea, reduction of Antarctic sea ice and polar ice sheets are some of the reasons that result in unfathomable catastrophes. Did you know The World’s Largest Iceberg Begins To Melt In Antarctica?
He revealed “These tipping elements can potentially act like a row of dominoes. Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth towards another. It may be very difficult or impossible to stop the whole row of dominoes from tumbling over. Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if “Hothouse Earth” becomes the reality.” And this is unstoppable. So if you’re getting flustered with the heat right now, maybe its time each of us takes baby steps to reduce our carbon footprints, to help the earth heal.