Climate change is the greatest danger facing humanity today. Although we have been studying forms of planetary defense against dangers from outer space, such as the DART mission, the climate crisis is a much more tangible and close one. To see it better, NASA makes its Climate Time Machine (Climate Time Machine), and you can use it right away.
This timeline provided by NASA shows us climate change since 1884. From that moment on, we can progressively advance year after year until 2021. It is in that year that the data published by the space agency ends, and also demonstrate a serious increase in the average temperature of the planet.
But this is not all that NASA’s Climate Time Machine can do. It also allows us to take a look at other equally important metrics, such as sea level rise, the decline of permafrost in the Arctic sea, and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
NASA allows us to see the damage of climate change on the planet
Despite all the climate warnings from the IPCC since the 1990s, carbon emissions have increased over the years. In fact, they have done it very sharply, reaching historic levels today.
As a result, scientists believe that the global temperature may exceed the limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius established in the Treaty of Paris in 2015. So much so, that it could reach an increase of up to 3.2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.
Although a couple of degrees more does not seem like a big deal, an increase in global average temperature, however small, is dramatically dangerous. To put us in context, in the year 536, classified as “the worst year in history”, the average temperatures in Europe dropped 2.5 degrees Celsius due to a volcanic winter, the product of an eruption.
As a result, there were mass deaths around the world, due to the death of most crops. In addition, the subsequent increase in sea ice cover and minimal solar incidence due to the volcanic winter caused global cooling for more than a century.
Needless to say, in addition to deaths from disease due to malnutrition and lack of vitamin D, resource wars became increasingly pronounced. Thus, humanity as a whole faced one of the darkest and most dangerous periods of its history. Today, we are about to repeat it.
The rise of the oceans and the decay of Greenland
Another graph available on NASA’s Climate Time Machine lets us take a look at the rise in the world’s oceans. With a map, we can see which areas of the world will disappear when the sea rises progressively. Specifically, the map focuses on the southwestern United States, northern Europe, the Amazon delta, and southeast Asia.
The result of the rise in the level of the ocean would be devastating. Cities like Amsterdam, Miami and New Orleans would completely disappear. Others like London, Kuala Lumpur and Norwich would be in serious danger.
For this to happen, for its part, the melting in Greenland has to become more acute (something that is not far away). On one of the maps, NASA’s Climate Time Machine lets us see the deterioration that this area of perpetual ice has had since the 1970s.
Fortunately, the fight against climate change continues, and is gaining strength. This November, Egypt will be the venue in charge of hosting the UN summit, where issues related to climate change will be discussed, a phenomenon that affects even worse the poorest countries in the world.