The worst possible climate change catastrophic scenarios, including collapse of society or the potential extinction of humans are being ignored, according to a group of global scientists.
The group of 11 scientists have called upon the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to prepare a special science report to bring into focus how much is at stake in a worst-case scenario.
In their perspective presented to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists have raised the idea of human extinction and worldwide societal collapse, calling it ‘a dangerously underexplored topic’.
The scientists, however, have said they are not saying that worst is going to happen but the trouble is no one knows how likely or unlikely a ‘climate endgame’ is and the world needs those calculations to battle global warming.
Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge faculty and lead author of the study Luke Kemp said, “Even if we have a 1% chance of having a global catastrophe, going extinct over the coming century, that 1%, that is too high.”
When global science organisations look at climate change they tend to just look at what happens in the world: Extreme weather, higher temperatures, melting ice sheets, rising seas and plant and animal extinctions. But they are not factoring enough how these reverberate in human societies and interact with existing problems — like war, hunger and disease.
University of Washington public health and climate professor and a co-author of the study Kristie Ebi said, “It was a mistake health professionals made before COVID-19 when assessing possible pandemics. They talked about disease spread, but not lockdowns, supply chain problems and spiralling economies. M