End of the world in 2100? (Les Echos, France)

Mistrust is replaced with panic. Alarming predictions of an international team of researchers, published in June in the journal «Nature», are now beginning to haunt the world wide web, "is scheduled for the end of the world in 2100," — repeated in numerous blogs, websites and forums. A study conducted by a group of twenty scientists from fifteen different international scientific institutions and entitled "Approaching the shift in the state of the biosphere of the Earth" is really precarious. It points to the "inevitability of irreversible collapse of Earth's ecosystems."


To determine the diagnosis of the authors analyzed, describing biological upheavals that occurred in the course of the seven major planetary crisis: the Cambrian explosion 540 million years ago, the five mass extinctions, which killed up to 90% of life on Earth, as well as the last glacial period of our age 12,000 years ago. "All of these transition periods coincided with certain conditions, which have led to changes in the global atmosphere, ocean and climate" — sums up the authors.

Now observed the same phenomenon: according to scientists, nearly half of climate occurring now on Earth, may soon disappear, and to replace them in the 12 to 39% of the world will come conditions that living organisms have not yet encountered. And this radical shift can happen to a hitherto unprecedented sharpness. "The last planetary upheaval has led to extreme biological changes of a thousand years — highlights one of the sponsors of the labor Arne Moers (Arne Moers), professor of biological systems in the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. — The geological scale, this can be compared to the transition from tender childhood to adulthood, less than a year. A process that we see today, is even faster. " Worse, the system may soon get caught up in the momentum. "The planet has no memory of their previous state, — the authors. — We're taking a huge risk by changing the background radiation of the planet: the risk dramatically push the climate system to a new equilibrium level, which can not accommodate the ecosystem and our society. "

And this is not only guilty of mass emissions of greenhouse gases. The pressure of the human species on the planet is in crushing of natural habitats and in the demographic growth and rampant consumption of natural resources, list the scientists. Already 43% of the Earth's ecosystems are used to meet the needs of its 7 billion inhabitants. Saturation threshold, and even sudden disappearance of endurance and ability to adapt to the human species is at hand, "is 7%, and we reach the point of no return" — they say.

The intergovernmental scientific platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES), a "IPCC for biodiversity", which is scheduled to meet for its first session in 2013, are consistent with these findings. They already fixed that every 20 minutes on the planet disappears, one mind, and this rhythm continues to accelerate. Over the past two hundred years after the beginning of the industrial age, he has already exceeded the natural rhythm of extinction as it is calculated by scientists over a period of 500 million years (average of one in a million per year) in the tens or even hundreds of times, depending on the species. Soon, it could exceed the natural rhythm of 10 000 times. The geological scale — this is almost instantaneous disappearance.

Will our children avoid falling this environmental "Supernova"? Starting as a pathetic appeal young Severn Cullis-Suzuki (Severn Cullis-Suzuki), twenty years ago to demand from adults "stop breaking the fact that they can not fix," before the first Earth Summit in Rio, "ekodiplomatiya" certainly has had some modest success. But can it adjust its slow music by "prestissimo" biodegradation? Will it break out of the zone of attraction of the various lobbyists who sprayed its effectiveness?

According to the results of different small and big political meetings on biodiversity, climate and natural science issues was signed at least 500 international and multilateral conventions on the protection of the environment: in wet areas (Ramsar, 1971), on the protection of wild fauna and flora on the International Trade in Endangered Species Wild Fauna and Flora, Endangered (Cites, 1973), the World Heritage (UNESCO, 1972), on the protection of wild fauna and flora and natural habitats in Europe (Bern, 1979) on the conservation of migratory species of cetaceans , ecological corridors, illegal hunting areas, biodiversity, desertification control, tropical forests … But in the absence of a global organization that could exercise control over their performance, the effectiveness of these conventions is vague.

And what do you do? Scientists, who usually do not participate in political life, offer clear solutions to save what can be saved, for example, the union of these seemingly contradictory terms as "reduced growth" (adjust the standard of living on the planet at the most reasonable means of consumption resources) and "innovation" (to develop new technologies to produce and distribute new food and energy without involving new territories).

During the more radical demands as soon as possible to encourage the human species to humility. According to scientists who have signed a disturbing article in the journal «Nature», stating that they are not just concerned, but "terrified of their results," a person now have no choice but to radically transform their way of life: it must achieve reduce population growth, social orders, as well as the concentration of the population in the already densely populated areas, to give the world an opportunity to regain the balance of nature.

Response capacity of ONS Paul (Paul Molga)

Category: Scientists, experts, science

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