A new study published by the National Academy of Sciences says that a “hothouse Earth” driven by an increase in climate change would threaten the “habitability of the planet for human beings,” USA Today reports. The study deems “hothouse” levels as global average temperatures being “6 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit higher” than current levels and sea levels rising “30 to 200 feet.” Scientists say that the planet’s trajectory to those levels might be imminent, even if the procedures laid out in documents like the Paris Climate Agreement were to be taken. A “domino” effect that would lead to a “hothouse Earth” would start with a man-made temperature increase of about 4 degrees, which would cause methane to be released from permafrost and a melting of snow and ice caps. Scientists say that the domino effects “could not be reversed, steered or substantially slowed” by human intervention, and would eventually lead to river flooding, increased risk of coastal storms, and the elimination of coral reefs. The study warns that only a “coordinated, deliberate effort by human societies” to do things like decarbonize the economy, eliminate deforestation, and improve farming could avert that catastrophe.
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