Earth may pass ‘major climate threshold’ within 15 years
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Earth may pass ‘major climate threshold’ within 15 years

A new study has determined that Earth could pass one of the major thresholds of climate change within 15 years. When the world’s temperature reaches 1.5 degrees Celsius above its preindustrial level, it will hit a “potentially dangerous level of climate change” according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report. If the world does cross this threshold, it will mark the first dangerous point as identified by the Paris climate agreement. The report comes at a time when President Donald Trump’s administration is considering withdrawal from the Paris accord.

The main focus of the study is the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). This is a shifting pattern of ocean temperatures that either cools or heats the planet due to a network of weather effects. It is similar in effect to the El Nińo / La Nińa cycle, but bigger and much longer lasting – often affecting the entire planet and lasting over a decade. This is a natural form of climate change that remains unaffected by human-caused climate change, but it has the potential to exacerbate or restrict the impact that human behavior makes on the planet.

For most of the 2000s, the world has been in a “negative” IPO cycle, meaning it has been cooling the planet. This latest report examines what will happen when the cycle becomes “positive” and contributes to global warming instead. The results – that we could hit temperatures that are dangerous to human life within 15 years – makes for concerning reading.

The major threats to humanity that climate change causes will be damage to the food and water supply, both of which are already under threat from a rapidly expanding population. In the eventuality that we cross the 1.5 degree threshold, it may fall to water and agricultural technology companies (like Xylem Inc. and Syngenta, both held in Dominion’s Global Trends Managed Fund) to provide solutions. When that happens, it will undoubtedly be good for business – but it will also be vital to the survival of the species.

Disclosure

Dominion holds a number of water technology companies, like Xylem Inc., and agricultural companies, like Syngenta, in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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