From the Independent - new study rewrites two decades of research and author says we are 'beyond point of no return'
"Global warming is beyond the “point of no return”, according to the lead scientist behind a ground-breaking climate change study.
The full impact of climate change has been underestimated because scientists haven't taken into account a major source of carbon in the environment.
Dr Thomas Crowther’s report has concluded that carbon emitted from soil was speeding up global warming.
The findings, which say temperatures will increase by 1C by 2050, are already being adopted by the United Nations.
Dr Crowther, speaking to The Independent, branded Donald Trump’s sceptical stance on climate change as “catastrophic for humanity”.
“It’s fair to say we have passed the point of no return on global warming and we can’t reverse the effects, but certainly we can dampen them,” said the biodiversity expert.
“Climate change may be considerably more rapid than we thought it was.”
The report, by an exhaustive list of researchers and published in the Nature journal, assembled data from 49 field experiments over the last 20 years in North America, Europe and Asia.
It found that the majority of the Earth’s terrestrial store of carbon was in soil, and that as the atmosphere warms up, increasing amounts are emitted in what is a vicious cycle of “positive feedbacks”.
The study found that 55bn tonnes in carbon, not previously accounted for by scientists, will be emitted into the atmosphere by 2050.
“As the climate warms, those organisms become more active and the more active they become, the more the soil respires – exactly the same as human beings," said Dr Crowther, who headed up the study at Yale Climate & Energy Institute, but is now a Marie Curiefellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.
“Our study shows that this major feedback has already certainly started, and it will have a significant impact on the climate in the coming decades. This information will be critical as we strive to understand how the climate is going to change in the future. And it will also be critical if we are to generate meaningful strategies to fight against it.”
Dr Crowther, a 30-year-old Cardiff University Phd graduate originally from North Wales, predicts climate change will lead to widespread migrations and antagonism among communities.
The full article can be read here.