Humanity ‘near point of no return’ as top MIT professor warns of just 5 ways to prevent total human extinction
HUMANITY is nearing a point of no return after which nothing can be done to stop our species’ extinction at the hands of climate change.
That’s the shock claim made by one top US scientist, who has laid out five ways mankind can save ourselves from the impending climate apocalypse.
Dr Asegun Henry, a mechanical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says the challenge comes down to how we consume energy.
“These five grand challenges, if solved, would literally alter the course of humanity,” Dr Henry said in an MIT interview published August 16.
“Our mission here is to save humanity from extinction due to climate change. The mission is clear.”
He added: “This is a subset of problems that will get us the majority of the way there, if we can solve them.”
Climate change threatens to melt the polar ice caps, triggering a cataclysmic series of events[/caption]
Dr Henry published research alongside two other thermal energy experts last week in the journal Nature Energy.
In it, they discuss five ways humanity must reinvent the way we transport, store, convert, and use thermal energy.
Making these changes would go a long way toward avoiding a global rise in temperature of more than 2C, researchers said.
That critical temperature climb threatens to trigger a catastrophic wave of climate scenarios, including global floods, rampant hurricanes, and more.
Humanity must change the way it consumes energy to avoid a climate disaster[/caption]
“We have about 20 to 30 years of business as usual, before we end up on an inescapable path to an average global temperature rise of over 2C,” Dr Henry added.
Among the five challenges put forward by the team are a change to the way air conditioners and refrigerators work.
Currently, cooling technology relies on chemicals called refrigerants that are extremely damaging to the atmosphere.
Dr Henry also suggests mankind must find a way to reduce energy waste by creating methods to store excess energy within power grids.
Climate change explained
Here are the basic facts…
- Scientists have lots of evidence to show that the Earth’s climate is rapidly changing due to human activity
- Climate change will result in problems like global warming, greater risk of flooding, droughts and regular heatwaves
- Each of the last three decades have been hotter than the previous one and 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have happened during the 21stcentury
- The Earth only needs to increase by a few degrees for it to spell disaster
- The oceans are already warming, polar ice and glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising and we’re seeing more extreme weather events
- In 2015, almost all of the world’s nations signed a deal called the Paris Agreement which set out ways in which they could tackle climate change and try to keep temperatures below 2C
New materials to replace cement – the creation of which lets off masses of greenhouse gases – and for use in walls that allow for the better storage and release of heat in our homes are other challenges set by the team.
Finally, new ways to transport heat long distances via wires – much like electricity – would greatly reduce energy waste, they said.
Without meeting these goals, humanity threatens to push the Earth beyond a point where the catastrophic effects of climate change are irreversible.
“We need dramatic change, not yesterday, but years ago,” Dr Henry said. “Every day I fear we will do too little too late, and we as a species may not survive Mother Earth’s clapback.”
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