The issue on whether or not how long can earth survive or for humankind to continue to exist lies on the present practices linked to the environment. Global warming and the climate change ultimately gets into the picture. Unless humans have the will and urgency to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, earth will continue to be a good place to live for future generations.
Carbon dioxide emissions have played a big role on how the weather patterns changed over time. It ultimately contributed to the unusual catastrophic climate change posing great threat to every nation and rising sea level caused by the melting ice in the Arctic sea ice. James Hansen, NASA's former head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies calls on reducing the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere back to 350 part per million. The last time this figure was recorded was in 1980s.
The month of August was reported to be the hottest month this year, recorded at 404.07 ppm which is a 40% increase before the Industrial Revolution took place. According to the scientists the safe limit is 450 ppm. That means, the earth is on the verge of reaching its critical point where the worst climate change can take effect.
Removing CO2 Method
In order to achieve Hansen's ambition and a group of young people, their research paper advocates for countries to work on "negative emissions" which can be done by removing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The use of forestry and agricultural practices increases the ability of the trees to absorb carbon dioxide pulling 100 gigatons of carbon out of the air in the atmosphere. Carbon capture and sequestration is another method of extracting CO2 emissions through the process of burning biomass as fuel, capturing CO2 emissions and burying the pollutant in the ground.
The paper also includes analysis comparing today's warming from the Holocene period around 11,700 years back and that of the Eemain period around 130,000 to 115,000 years ago. Today's temperature is already relative or worse than that of the Eemian times. Not doing something to reduce the effects of climate change and not treating it with urgency is depriving the future generations a liveable place.