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Slow decisions in the face accelerated climate change
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Slow decisions in the face accelerated climate change

The year is coming to an abrupt end. He started wearing blue.

January 2021 marked beginning of the Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development. This was proclamated by the United Nations and will last until 2030.

The director of the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) Josep Lluís Pelegrí Llopart has explained to us the objective of this initiative : to promote management of the oceans and coasts based on scientific knowledge, which makes healthy oceans one of the pillars for the progress of all mankind.

It will be difficult, if it is not impossible, for sick seas to sustain sustainable development.

They are home to a great biodiversity and act as a regulator of greenhouse gases.

Oceans 21 was born out of the beginning of this decade.

It has many articles that have been published over the past few months. They discuss the current situation in the major oceans and some of the main issues they face like noise pollution and climate change.

A new IPCC report

The new evidence shows that climate change is caused by human activities. The analysis shows that climate change is occurring at an alarming rate.

Fernando Valladares, National Museum of Natural Sciences, believes that reducing greenhouse gases emissions requires slowing economic development, reorganizing, limiting energy generation and transforming transportation. He also suggests reducing intensive agriculture and livestock and transforming cities.

However, reversing this process is becoming more difficult. Manuel de Castro Muñoz de Lucas, Professor of Earth Physics at the University of Castilla-La Mancha points out that, even if we were able to drastically reduce emissions, “the global average surface temperature would take a few centuries to return to normal values. pre-industrial”.

2021, a year full of extremes. Some signs of this climatic acceleration may have been noticed during this year. It was premiered in Spain with an intense snow and cold wave that paralyzed whole cities.

The storm Filomena was also a severe blow to families in a situation of energy poverty , as warned by María Teresa Círitu Vilches (Eduardo Torroja Institute of Construction Sciences, IETcc – CSIC) and Miguel Ángel Navas Martín (Carlos III Health Institute).

Storms and floods swept through Germany in summer as unusual heat waves ravaged the United States and Canada. A big problem in all cases, says Antonio Ruiz de Elvira, Professor of Applied Physics at the University of Alcalá, is that there are no protocols to deal with these phenomena.

The fires are the other main protagonists of summer. The current generation is considered to be sixth. They are becoming more ferocious and harder to extinguish.

“They release such an amount of energy that they are capable of developing their own behavior and generating erratic winds that allow them to spread in an unpredictable way”, alerts Rosa María Canals , professor of Agri-Food Engineering and Rural Areas at the Public University of Navarra.

The professor at the University of Lleida Víctor Resco assures us that we are entering the era of fires that we can no longer put out , those that “can burn for weeks or months and that only go out when it rains”.

The climate summit 2021 is over with an important United Nations initiative, the Conference of the Parties ( COP26 ), which was held in Glasgow last November.

Researchers Pedro Linares (Comillas Pontifical University), Anna Traveset (IMEDEA – CSIC – UIB), Cristina Linares Gil and Julio Díaz (Carlos III Health Institute), Gemma Durán Romero (Autonomous University of Madrid), Roberto Álvarez Fernández (Nebrija University ) and Víctor Resco de Dios (University of Lleida) gave us an assessment of the summit and the resulting Climate Pact , signed by 197 countries.

Some steps forward were made by the meeting. The meeting urged countries to review their emission reduction promises. Good intentions were also expressed in terms of economic assistance to the poorest areas, investment in health projects, and forest protection.

However, there are still questions. One of these is the climate finance plan, and the list of contributors. On the other side, although it was suggested to end coal and aid in fossil fuels, no concrete measures have been taken.

All these aspects will be shaped over the coming years. The countries have already agreed to meet in Egypt in November 2022 to make more ambitious pledges to reduce their emissions. We will see if they arrive prepared. 

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