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Edit Research Interests
October 2010 - July 2020
Senior Research Fellow
2002 - 2008
University of Lille
2000 - 2001
Hothouse Earth: seven things you can do to stop it
The Conversation |
Jan , 2018
If global temperatures are allowed to rise by 2℃, we face creating a “Hothouse Earth” that would shift the planet to an irreversible state, a recent research paper warns. This has provoked a global frenzy in social, news and print media reminiscent of the planetary emergency professed by Al Gore a decade ago. Only this time climate scientists, and not politicians, are the ones causing the storm. The research is compelling, but the arguments are hardly new. We’ve long known that Earth systems require extensive human intervention, that nature will not redress the balance itself. We already know of the planetary boundaries and, thanks to our unsustainable practices, how crossing certain thresholds of natural resources (fresh water, land use, and biodiversity loss) and environmental variables (atmospheric aerosols, biochemical flows and ozone depletion) could lead to tipping the Earth’s systems out of balance. Nonetheless, the idea of Hothouse Earth has taken off. This is a good thing in terms of raising awareness and triggering global concerns and subsequent actions for integrated climate governance. But such accounts often fail to consider the political climate of the day.