By JONATHAN HARRIS, Reuters Environmentalists are bracing for an ice age to engulf their cities in a massive new wave of CO2-driven melting.
A report from the World Meteorological Organization predicts the world will see a “major and rapid increase” in CO2 levels by 2080 and the risk of a new ice age by 2100.
But for now, climate scientists say it is still too early to declare the coming ice age.
The main threat is that the global economy will be paralyzed as economies around the world struggle to cope with a changing climate.
The new report said global carbon emissions have risen by an average of 16% a year over the past five years, but they are still less than two-thirds of what they were in 1990.
The main drivers are the rise of China and India, and the rise in coal use, which is more efficient and cleaner than the old way of burning wood.
There is a big disconnect between what people think is happening in the world and what actually is happening,” said Erik Altieri, a professor of atmospheric science at Yale University who is a co-author of the report.
The world has already experienced the effects of climate change.
It is the hottest year on record in the US and the coldest in the UK.
Many of the worst effects have been linked to rising sea levels and heatwaves, with the US alone suffering from more than a dozen deaths from heatwaves this year.
Some experts warn that without action, the ice age could bring down the planet, leading to a repeat of the mass extinctions in the past.
The ice age is likely to last between 10 and 20 years, the WMO said, but that could change if global temperatures continue to rise.
The report says the global average temperature is expected to increase by 0.1 degrees Celsius over the next century and the warming is likely linked to increased CO2 emissions from industrial processes and transport.
That means the temperature will rise by around 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100 and 0.5 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2050.
The global economy, which has struggled to adapt to a changing environment, will be the biggest driver, the report said.
The worst-case scenario for the global economies in 2080 is a loss of $5 trillion to $7 trillion ($9 trillion to 13 trillion) in global GDP.
In the United States, that would wipe out $4 trillion of economic output.
By 2100, the worst-cases scenario is a 10-20 percent drop in economic output for the US economy and a 6 percent drop for the world economy, the study said.
While the world’s economic performance will improve, the new report predicts that by 2100, it will be worse than it is now.”
We have seen the most extreme warming since the last ice age, and that will continue,” Altieri said.”
There are very clear, very large effects on life on Earth that we will have to contend with.
“To combat that, the World Bank has set up a new global initiative called Carbon Emissions Reduction to accelerate the shift to cleaner energy and reduce emissions in areas of the world with the greatest risk of melting.
The Bank said it was committed to helping countries around the globe reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the face of the new ice-age.
The idea is to help countries move away from coal, which accounts for more than half of global CO2, and toward more renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.
In China, which was the world leader in the coal sector in 2015, coal is expected by 2030 to account for about 20 percent of the economy, according to the WMD report.
In India, the number of coal plants is expected rise from roughly a fifth of a million to 30 percent of a country’s total electricity generation by 2050, and by the end of that decade, India’s coal consumption will be nearly double what it is today, according the WMT report.
That would make the country the world´s second-largest carbon polluter.
The WMD forecast shows that emissions will double by 2070, double again by 2085, triple again by 2100 to nearly 4 trillion tons of CO 2 emissions, equivalent to the entire annual emissions of Brazil and the United Kingdom.(This story corrects headline to show that India’s total CO2 is equivalent to Brazil´s emissions, not United Kingdom, in paragraph 17, first corrected on April 12, 2019)