The 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP) is taking place in Morocco between 7th and 18th November with scientists coming together in the meeting to discuss and combat climate change.
Before the meeting in Marrakesh, an agreement on phasing out greenhouse gas hydrofluorocarbons had been passed at Montreal Protocol meeting, and Paris had also passed a climate change agreement which came into effect on 4th of November. The agreement passed in Paris, is a commitment to reduce the carbon emissions by 2030 in order to halt global warming.
Observations have shown that sea levels are rising continuously and global CO2 concentrations remained above 400 ppm for the entirety of 2016, which according to experts, will not fall below this mark in our lifetimes.
Scientists have urged nations to act quickly and decisively in reducing carbon emissions as to limit global temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees Celcius this century.
Dr Ed Hawkins, from the University of Reading also mentioned that the spiral graphics featured at the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics were in fact, showing how fast temperatures have been spiralling upwards in recent years. Dr Hawkins also mentioned that it is our choices about future greenhouse gas emissions that will define what happens next.
It is expected that Arctic summer ice extent will decline continuously, which will happen somewhat erratically. Without any substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, it is possible that the Arctic is ‘ice-free’, starting with a few days one summer, a few weeks another summer and gradually, becoming more and more frequent over the next few decades.