Wildfires in the Arctic Circle. 91 people killed in Greece. Japan declares a natural disaster with multiple cities breaking 40ºC. An entire town in California turned to ash.
It’s not your average summer. But it might be soon.
New research published by the Stockholm Resilience Centre 1 shows that this level of destruction is potentially just the tip of the melting iceberg. A global temperature rise of around 2ºC means risking what scientists call “Hothouse Earth” conditions.
When this happens, systems like the Arctic Sea ice and tropical rainforests lose their ability to deflect heat and store carbon. Instead they start to release it. It’s the beginning of a vicious circle that could end up with a much hotter Earth: 4-5ºC higher than today. But that doesn’t just mean extreme weather. It spells disaster for our species.