Renowned Scientist: Planet Heating Faster Than Predicted

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A recent study co-authored by James Hansen, a pioneer in climate crisis awareness in the 1980s, reveals an alarming acceleration in global heating on planet. Published in the journal Oxford Open Climate Change, the study employs various climate data sources to underscore Earth’s heightened sensitivity to climate change.

The report suggests that a climate emergency is underway, predicting a swift rise in global temperatures. It is warned that the planet is on track to exceed the 1.5-degree Celsius warming threshold by the 2020s and surpass 2 degrees Celsius before 2050, signaling an imminent crisis due to heat already in the pipeline.


The recent paper by Hansen and collaborators highlights an increased energy imbalance due in part to successful reduction of particle air pollution, notably in China and through global shipping pollution restrictions.

Despite the cooling effect of such pollution, the resulting imbalance is poised to intensify global warming, potentially leading to catastrophic outcomes like rapid sea level rise and disruption of crucial ocean currents in this century.

Hansen specifically stresses concerns about Antarctic ice melt, especially the Thwaites Glacier, a crucial barrier against severe sea level rise.

The paper emphasizes that the current warming trajectory isn’t irreversible, advocating for urgent and “extraordinary actions.”

The report suggests critical measures, including carbon pollution taxation, increased nuclear power use in tandem with renewables, and active involvement of developed nations in assisting developing countries transition to low-carbon energy. Yet, reducing planet-heating pollution alone won’t suffice, according to the report.

Hansen stresses the necessity to cool the planet to maintain sea levels, proposing solar geoengineering. This controversial method aims to reflect sunlight away or enhance heat escape into space. Critics raise concerns about unforeseen consequences and sudden halts causing a ‘termination shock.’

Despite this, Hansen argues for considering it, highlighting that current fossil fuel burning already engineers the planet.

While this year experiences record heat, the report’s notion of accelerated global warming is disputed within the scientific community. Michael Mann, a prominent climate scientist, deems these findings as divergent from the mainstream.


Mann disputes claims of accelerating warming, emphasizing that current data does not align with that assertion. He stresses the gravity of the truth, stating there is no evidence of models underestimating human-induced warming.

Mann questions the impact of pollution reduction on warming and warns about the unprecedented and potentially hazardous nature of solar geoengineering. He suggests that reaching the 1.5 degrees Celsius target is more a matter of policy than climate science.

However, Hansen rebuts criticisms, asserting that their research is firmly grounded in factual data and fundamental physics. He insists it is not an outlier but rather an accurate representation of the real world, acknowledging that acceptance within the scientific community might take time.


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