Scientists attending summit relieved things have started to move but concerns remain

(CU)_Over the recent past climate experts have published report after report, cautioning the international community of the dire consequences of the ongoing climate crisis looming around the horizon. Time after time, scientists across the globe sent one clear warning: every minute of delay, every extra fraction of global heating will have harsh repercussions. It is the same message that these experts have been seeking to convey the UN climate summit that is currently underway in Glasgow.

Most scientists are of the view that considering the numerous failed attempts made over the years to tackle the climate crisis, it appears that the humanity may be starting to turn the corner, particularly given the intensity of the extreme weather conditions that are being experienced across the globe. Nevertheless, these experts remain cautiously optimistic, since there is much more left to be done to minimise the effects of climate change. 

“I have mixed emotions. I feel relieved that things have started to move, but I am concerned about the speed,” Peter Stott, a climate scientist at Met Office Hadley Centre who has been attending COPs since 1998, said. “The scientific message we have talked about for 25 years is being acted on. That is a vindication. We might be starting to turn the corner. But I feel a strong sense of anxiety I haven’t felt before. I want to see the policymakers get a move on. In the next two years we have got to cut emissions rapidly.”

Some experts point out that this growing interest taken by global leaders and policy makers is owing to the fact that this is no longer a challenge faced by certain vulnerable nations alone. “Fifteen years ago you had to be up in the Arctic or in a low-lying island to experience climate change. Today, wherever we live we are seeing the impacts and governments are responding,” Katharine Hayhoe, the chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy, said.

She is of the view that humanity is getting closer to what she described as an “oh shit” moment, when people realised that the effects of climate change pose a far greater threat than the solutions. “I don’t think we have arrived there yet but it’s building,” she noted.

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