Let’s imagine that we are already in 2050, and we had to describe the changes that we have had to endure since 2020 and the new challenges that we have had to meet in relation to climate change, provided that the battle is already lost.
Warmer world and more polluted environment
Known as representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5, the scenario of rising fossil fuel use established by the UN panel of climate scientists foresees a rise in temperatures of up to 3 °C and 5 °C above pre-industrial times by 2050 and 2100 respectively, demolishing therefore the objectives of the Paris Agreement of 2015 to limit global warming below 2 ° C.
This means warmer and heavier air. You breathe heavily, your cough never seems to go away. You can no longer just leave your home during the day without taking any precautionary measures against heat, pollution and ultraviolet waves.
Because it will be a global warming and pollution increase, maybe your idea about the holidays would change and you’ll simply book a refreshing and clean place in the Arctic for your vacation instead of Australia!
Reports estimated that the number of people exposed to water stress could double by 2050 if no effort was made regarding the Paris Agreement. Surface water availability is directly affected by the amount of rainfall, heat and evaporation rate and human overexploitation. The largest water stress increases will hit North Africa, Middle East and south and central Asia. This definitely means the emergence of more international conflicts over water. We would find ourselves in a situation where the luxury is to have as much water as we need!
Sea level rise
Due to extreme weather conditions and events, floods represent a growing threat to coastal communities life and economy.
A report from the Resources Institute estimated that by 2050, 191 million and 30 million people will be exposed to riverine and coastal floods, respectively, every year. India, Bangladesh and Indonesia would be the most affected region by 44%.
As a result, many health problems and diseases such as malaria and cholera will spread and it will be more difficult for international food and water relief to reach those regions.
Moreover, affected populations are forced to leave their residences or even their regions or their countries. In fact, over 1% of humanity is believed to be displaced. In the not too far future, either we will turn into refugees or into hosting peoples.
Think depression can only affect you because of the loss of a beloved person or if you lose your job and you can’t pay the rent? You must read the Seventh Generation report. The report is a survey of 2,000 Americans, released in April that showed 71% of Millennials and 67% of Gen Z believe that climate change has negatively affected their mental health. Moreover, 44% believe that the Earth will become uninhabitable, this is inevitable regardless of real actions taken to mitigate climate change.
One of the most relevant questions asked during the survey was about the intention to have children by anticipating living in a world punctuated by one major disaster after another. 80% of the cohort between the ages of 18 and 23 made it clear that “they are not planning – or wanting – to have their own children due to climate change.”
Some climatologists have also been frightened by facts drawn from their own research. Spending part of their lives in the high arctic or in the deep ocean taking measures of environmental stressors disturbed their feelings, especially when they thought about what the Earth would look like 100 years from now.
Finally, the only way to combat this kind of depression and any of the mentioned above future problems is to combat climate change.