The goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C was agreed to in the landmark Paris agreement negotiated by 195 nations last year. At a University of Oxford conference scientists said global greenhouse gas emissions are not likely to slow down quickly enough to avoid passing the 1.5°C target. In fact, the scientists said, Earth is currently on a trajectory to hit at least 2.7°C in global temperature rise.
Once considered a vital weapon in the fight against climate change, the soil, which traps carbon that would ordinarily be released into the atmosphere, has now been found to take a much longer time to absorb carbon than scientists believed—which means its potential for carbon sequestration this century "may only be half of what we thought it was," the Washington Post explains.
As Jim Hall, director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, put it at the conference, "We need to get ready to deal with surprise."
Pete Smith, a plant and soil scientist at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, said mass lifestyle change must be undertaken to combat rising temperatures, such as developing more sustainable diets, reducing food waste and red meat intake, and importing fewer greenhouse gas-heavy vegetables.
"There are lots of behavioral changes required, not just by the government...but by us," he said. He also warned that controversial geoengineering techniques such as sunlight blocking could become the norm in some countries.
It may well be a very grim future for all of us unless we change the system instead of the climate