Third on the Big Think 2019 countdown reveals this is what the world will be like if we do not act on climate change.
- The third most popular video of 2019 presents a frightening truth: The best-case scenario of climate change is that world gets just 2°C hotter, which scientists call the "threshold of catastrophe".
- Why is that the good news? Because if humans don't change course now, the planet is on a trajectory to reach 4°C at the end of this century, which would bring $600 trillion in global climate damages, double the warfare, and a refugee crisis 100x worse than the Syrian exodus.
- David Wallace-Wells explains what would happen at an 8°C and even 13°C increase. These predictions are horrifying, but should not scare us into complacency. "It should make us focus on them more intently," he says.
Phrases like "Global warming" and "climate change" don't carry any weight.
- A neurological study shows that there are better ways to get someone to care about the threat of a climate in crisis.
- Catastrophe and more visceral words are more likely to make someone take action.
- Framing the problem in a different way can make naysayers come over to the cause.
Geologists may have spotted evidence of the beginning stages of a subduction zone, a process that drives the movement of Earth's tectonic plates.
- Geologists have long puzzled over a flat, featureless region off the coast of Portugal that's been the location of several earthquakes.
- A team may have confirmed that a drip-shaped mass, buried 155 miles below the seafloor, might be responsible for the seismic activity.
- If confirmed, the drip-shaped anomaly also suggests that geologists have for the first time observed the early stages of a subduction zone.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!