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If We Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Would the Climate Ever Change for the Better?

It may not help, but there is still some hope.

Climate change is an inescapable fact. In the past, people may have been skeptical about the impact of human behavior on the planet and dismissed global warming. But, society is now faced with irrefutable evidence of the damage being caused to the environment by greenhouse gas emissions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a United Nations body that provides governments across the globe with the latest scientific assessment relating to climate change. The IPCC’s most recent report makes for shocking reading and shows that every area on Earth is impacted by climate change. As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise as a direct result of climate change, extreme weather events such as heatwaves and flooding become more frequent. But, these extreme conditions are about so much more than bad weather. The impact of climate change is detrimental to all areas of life with far-reaching consequences, such as harm to the agricultural industry and food supply, damage to ecosystems, reduced air quality, and increased coastal erosion, to name just a few. The report provides a stark wake-up call for citizens across the globe to take notice of the scientific evidence and to start making changes. But, after reading the report, you may be wondering whether there is any chance of climate change getting better and whether it is too late to undo the damage.

What If We Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions Today?
Photo by Marcin Jozwiak

It may seem like the population is destined for disaster and that there is nothing to be done to stop it. But, this is not true. The damage caused to the environment up to this point is extensive and in some cases so severe that it would take hundreds of thousands of years to begin reversing the changes that have taken place, such as the sharp rise in sea levels and the subsequent damage this causes. However, this does not mean it is time to simply give up and accept that human behavior is destroying the planet. Instead, it makes it even more crucial to work harder than ever to actively reduce climate change.

Taking action now will not undo all the harm that has already been caused. But, there is still some hope. Making significant changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can help slow the rate of damage being caused. While efforts are currently being made to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, the reductions need to go much further to begin making a positive difference. Everyone needs to play a part and make this happen.

Experts Say That Even if We Stop Emitting CO2 Today, It Could Warm the Planet for Centuries.
Photo by Dimitry Anikin

The crucial thing to remember is major harm has been caused to the planet due to climate change. While much of the damage caused is irreversible in our lifetime, it does not mean positive changes cannot be made. Major changes are needed even to begin slowing down the rate of climate change and preserving Earth as we know it. However, unless significant action is taken and taken immediately, the impact could prove devastating.