Taking what the IPCC says in their report on global warming there are technological fixes currently being developed and expected to be possibly heavily relied upon by the year 2100. The technological fix would be using CO2 limiting devices to in theory help cool down the earth’s average temperature. The IPCC says that in order to maintain many of the earth’s ecosystems including coral reefs that humans should try to avoid allowing the Earths average temperature to reach over 2.7° higher than pre-industrial temperatures but that as soon as the year 2030 if we can’t reduce levels of CO2 by 45% from 2010 levels then that won’t be accomplishable and by 2040 the earth average temperature could be 2.7° hotter than pre-industrial temperature. According to the New York Times an approach that would make governments feel more comfortable and allow them to transition slower is the idea that humans can let the earths average temperature grow to 3.6° before lowering it back down to the 2.7° threshold. In order to do that large-scale CO2 removing techniques would have to be in use by then along with ways of producing energy cleaner and building more responsibly. Yet I don’t see this happening by 2040 and therefor humans will unfortunately have to deal with the consequences of the widespread environmental devastation. I wish I could have faith in a feasible techno-fix to be engineered or that widespread action would be taken by world governments and corporations but I just don’t see enough evidence today to suggest that will happen.
I had always considered climate science to be a young practice but after reading Michael Reidy’s article on John Tyndall I see that it’s not as infant as I believed. Tyndall’s groundbreaking claim in 1861 that any changes in the atmosphere would lead to large scale changes to the climate really is a foreshadow of current scientific views. Coming up with his idea of the greenhouse effect unfortunately didn’t get the ball rolling on climate science research though as his work was largely unpublished though remarkable. Luckily though in the past few decades have been some of the most progressive and impressive periods of environmental study and now climate science has grown in the study it is today. Yet without people such as Tyndall who knows if we would have things such as the IPCC today.