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Study explores evidence for 'Hothouse Earth' scenario

Signal of change / Study explores evidence for 'Hothouse Earth' scenario

By Anna Simpson / 16 Aug 2018

A Harvard University study published in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explores evidence for a 'Hothouse Earth' scenario, in which self-reinforcing geophysical and biosphere feedbacks push global warming beyond a threshold, after which we would see "higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene". 



So what?

The authors of the study call for collective human action to "steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state". They specify that this could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.    


What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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