David Wallace-Wells, Author of the book, The Uninhabitable Earth/Life After Warming [‘The most terrifying book I have ever read.’ -Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times]
“It’s become fashionable to call for a WWII-style climate mobilization. But virtually no one will call for activities the U.S. actually undertook then—rationing food and fuels, seizing property, nationalizing factories or industries, suspending liberties.”
Himalayan glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show
Ice losses indicate ‘devastating’ future for region and 1 billion people who depend on it for water
The analysis shows that 8bn tonnes of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 meters annually. The study shows that only global heating caused by human activities can explain the heavy melting. In previous work, local weather and the impact of air pollution had complicated the picture.
Joshua Maurer, from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth observatory, who led the new research, said: “This is the clearest picture yet of how fast Himalayan glaciers are melting since 1975, and why.” The research is published in the journal Science Advances.
The spy satellite photographs used in the research had lain unused in archives for some years. But a computer tool developed by Maurer and colleagues enabled these 1970s photos to be turned into 3D maps.
Schaefer said: “For the wellbeing of the people there, our results are of course the worst possible. But it is what it is, and now we have to prepare for that scenario. We have to worry a lot, because so many people are affected.
“To stop the temperature rises, we have to cool the planet,” he said. “We have to not only slow down greenhouse gas emissions, we have to reverse them. That is the challenge for the next 20 years.”
“Is it too late for us? Scientists have spent decades sounding the alarm on the devastating effects of climate change. And for decades, society decided to do pretty much nothing about it. In fact, over the past 30 years, we’ve done more damage to the climate than in all of human history! Now, there’s a real chance we may have waited too long to avoid widespread tragedy and suffering. In his book “The Uninhabitable Earth”, David Wallace-Wells depicts a catastrophic future far worse than we ever imagined…and far sooner than we thought. It is undoubtedly a brutal truth to face, as you will hear in this episode, but if there’s any hope to avert the worst case scenarios, we have to start now.”
[First aired in March 2019]