Earth at risk of becoming 'hothouse' despite efforts to curb carbon emissions

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NASA said the rumor warning of an asteroid collision in September was a hoax.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 7) — The Earth is at risk of no longer cooling down, an international study revealed Monday.

The planet may go on a "hothouse" climate scenario, which will pose risks for health, economies and political stability, especially for climate-vulnerable countries such as the Philippines.

A "hothouse Earth" scenario would not be curbed by man-made efforts to reduce carbon emissions, according to Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

The study shows scientists believe a 2° Celsius increase in global temperatures from the baseline of pre-industrial levels may trigger this scenario.

"This analysis implies that, even if the Paris Accord target of a 1.5 °C to 2.0 °C rise in temperature is met, we cannot exclude the risk that a cascade of feedbacks could push the Earth System irreversibly onto a "Hothouse Earth" pathway," the study revealed.

The world's average temperature is at 0.9°C, as shown in the latest data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In the study, the scientists looked at 10 natural systems, which will start adding carbon to the atmosphere on their own once the temperature threshold is breached.

Under the new hot climate, temperatures around the world might stay at 4 to 5°C above the pre-industrial age. With this, sea level could be 10 to 60 meters higher than the present, which can flood coastal communities. Rising temperatures may also decrease global agricultural production, affecting economies and food supply.

"A Hothouse Earth trajectory would almost certainly flood deltaic environments, increase the risk of damage from coastal storms, and eliminate coral reefs," it said.

The study did not specify a timeframe when this scenario may occur, but it theorized that it may happen within the next century or two.

Carbon levels in the atmosphere have been determined as a major culprit in global warming. The Paris Agreement, signed by over 195 countries, seeks to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by cutting down on emissions based on "nationally determined contributions."