For many years, worldwide Climate Change (Aka “Global Warming”, though the changes are not limited only to ‘warmings’) has been seen as a slow and gradual process. And while this is a good as it gives humanity time to correct its mistakes, it also makes the process a lot easier to ignore. Which is what many have been doing for many years.
But, according to researchers in The Journal Of Science, that gradual shift may take a sudden shift into a series of very rapid and very damaging changes.
What are they basing this information on? Some of their theories are based on the fact that an event like this – one that would bring large changes to the Earth’s climate very quickly – would not be the first of its kind. The end of the ice age saw a similar quick shift in temperatures and resulted in similarly massive shifts in climates around the world, as the ice melted, ocean levels rose, and areas once covered in sheet upon sheet of ice and snow became fertile ground that was able to support a new wave of live.
Notice the ‘new’ in that last statement. This ‘new’ came in place of much of the old lives that were going on during the Ice Age… Most of Earth’s denizens back then didn’t respond very well to the sudden shift, and died off as a result.
According to a massive survey conducted by the aforementioned researchers in the Journal of Science, temperature records from the past 20,000 years indicate that the earth’s ecosystems are once again at risk of another very sudden climate shift. Unless world powers take aggressive action to prevent such a shift, researchers believe this event could be even quicker and more aggressive than the last.
In an article on The Washington Post, Stephen Jackson, director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, spoke about the study:
“Even as someone who has spent more than 40 years thinking about vegetation change looking into the past … it is really hard for me to wrap my mind around the magnitude of change we’re talking about. It is concerning to me to think about how much change and how rapidly the change is likely to happen, and how little capacity we have to predict the exact course,”
Jackson continued to state that the biggest challenges will come not from our own survival of the events, but from the needs for our species to also manage and ensure the safety of various other ecosystems on the planet, including bird and fish ecosystems, as all of those play vital roles in our own survival.
And while this discovery presents a large warning to global economies, it is once again something that is all too easy to ignore. Why? It’s indeterminate, and it’s not happening right now.
This not only makes it hard to plan for, but it becomes much easier for global superpowers to find excuses on why they don’t need to take action at the moment. And while taking drastic, immediate actions might seem like the obvious choice for those on the ground level, consider the ambiguity of the situation at hand.
While I can’t think of a metaphor that exactly mirrors this situation, taking a massive “green” shift due to an uncertain event in the future is ideologically similar to going vegan because eating non-vegan foods might result in you getting a seriously debilitating disease later in your life. There’s no telling when that disease will come, or what it will be, or if it will come at all, but a lot of researchers say there’s a large risk of it happening… at some point.
Decisions like these aren’t as easy as they might seem. They’re very intense, very large commitments. But if climate change keeps up at its current pace, we may find ourselves totally unprepared right as our worst fears are about to come true.