The cause of the failure of the climate agreement

The cause of the failure of the climate agreement

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A particular danger is that this process lasts for centuries.

Unexpectedly rapid melting of permafrost will significantly accelerate the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and make the Paris climate change agreement is extremely complicated to implement. To such conclusion the climate scientists, who published an article in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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“The thawing of permafrost will significantly reduce the “budget” of emissions that humanity can afford to spend before the climate will pass the “point of no return.” A particular danger is that this process lasts for centuries, and it cannot instantly stop, reducing emissions,” said Thomas Gasser (Thomas Gasser) from the International Institute of applied systems analysis in Laxenburg (Austria).

In recent years, climate scientists are seriously concerned that the warming of the Arctic will lead to the rapid disappearance of all stocks of permafrost encountered in the soil of Siberia, Alaska and the circumpolar regions of Canada during the last glaciation. On current forecasts, approximately one third of the permafrost in the southern regions of Siberia and Alaska will disappear by the end of this century.

The melting of permafrost, scientists today believe will release a huge amount of organic matter frozen in the soil and accumulated there during millions of years of glaciation. These plant and animal remains begin to rot, releasing methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and burn during wildfires, which will further accelerate global warming.

All of these processes, as noted by Gasser, was not taken into account during the negotiations for the Paris climate agreement in December 2015. As a result, those voluntary commitments to reduce emissions that have taken the country, may be too soft and will not allow the parties to the agreement to keep global warming at around 1.5-2 degrees Celsius.

The Austrian climate scientists checked how much the melting permafrost will impact on the implementation of the Paris agreements by creating a computer model that took into account this source of greenhouse gases.These calculations unexpectedly showed that this natural process would “bite” a very significant part of the carbon budget of the Paris agreement, and the power of its influence will grow strongly in those cases, if not all countries will comply with the obligations or implement them optional part.


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