Science/Tech

Multiple Overlapping Crises Could Trigger 'Global Systemic Collapse,' Warn Scientists

According to a release made by more than 200 scientists earlier this week, the amount of environmental crises these days that can potentially overlap can easily trigger the planet into a “global systemic collapse.”

Multiple Overlapping Crises

The onset and worsening of the climate crisis during the last decade has directly affected a lot of our planet’s natural processes, leading to more unpredictable weather, heavier storms, rising ocean levels and even extended droughts. And now, 21st century humanity has to face dwindling stores of fresh water, food security, extreme weather events and the decline of life-sustaining ecosystems, all of which can easily overturn our race if they overlap all at once.

In a new research made by international research organization called Future Earth, the five aforementioned global-scale risks (out of 30) topped their list both in terms of impact and likelihood.

"In combination, they have the potential to impact and amplify one another in ways that might cascade to create global systemic collapse," Maria Ivanova, a professor at the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts, along with her team, said in the 50-page report.

For example, heat waves can easily speed the process of global warming by releasing harmful gases, which can then intensify the scarcity of food and water crises. And then there’s biodiversity loss that can easily weaken the capacity of our natural and agricultural systems to survive and push through climate extremes, which then leads to putting all our food supplies at risk. Furthermore, temperatures just keep on rising, making experts worry that sometime soon, our planet’s climate system would get tipped into a self-perpetuating spiral of global warming.

"Many scientists and policymakers are embedded in institutions that are used to thinking and acting on isolated risks, one at a time. We call on the world's academics, business leaders and policy makers to pay attention to these five global risks and ensure they are treated as interacting systems," the report said.

"2020 is a critical time to look at these issues. Our actions in the next decade will determine our collective future," Amy Luers, executive director of Future Earth, said.

Climate Change Scientists warned that if world leaders fail to act today to reverse the effects of climate change, many nations are at risk of "chaos and harm." Pixabay

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