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Climate change is one of the phenomena on this planet that threatens the life of thousands of species and even humans. This process is accelerating and will change our planet forever for decades to come.
Earth is a dynamic and changing planet, but perhaps on our historical scale we cannot perceive it. Today it seems like a safe and comfortable haven, but the fragile dynamics that enable life as we know it can be very easily altered. In fact, our planet was not always a calm blue and green as we know it. The Earth has a violent past of rivers of lava and molten rock, of desolate wastelands of ice, of eternal deserts and of endless oceans. The future of Earth promises to be just as changeable, and life will have to adapt or perish.
In the short period of time that humanity inhabits this Earth, industrial processes have left a profound mark. Global warming is a phenomenon that has been accelerating and accentuated by human activities in the last two hundred years, and that scientists have been warning since the middle of the last century. Today, it is known how to face a climate change capable of unbalancing the balance of the habitability of our planet, but even so there are processes that it is too late to reverse.
The two most repeated words in recent years by climate change experts are 'adaptation' Y 'mitigation’: The Earth is already on the way to undergo transformations that, although slight, will have enormous consequences for life on Earth: disappearance of species, entire cities could be swallowed up by rising sea levels; Weather events such as droughts or hurricanes could ruin crops, endangering the survival of large human populations; Millions of climate refugees could cause the greatest humanitarian crises in history ...
By now, scientific teams around the world have already made their predictions for the next 30 years; and some dare to forecast the future until the end of the century. Most of the transformations could be stopped if we move to a scenario of low polluting emissions, renouncing plastics, respecting ecosystems and opting for renewable energy sources.
What will Earth be like in 2050?
Let's start the review of 15 transformations that the planet Earth will experience by the year 2050, according to science.
Global temperature could rise up to three degrees
Between 1.4 ºC and 3 ºC is the estimate of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change Experts (IPCC) for global temperature in 2050, taking into account the current trend in polluting gas emissions.
There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean
According to a report issued by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, plastics will consume 20% of all oil production in the next 30 years, with the consequent emission of waste that entails: it would be equivalent to emptying four trucks into the ocean every minute for the year 2050. Unless, of course, we radically change our relationship with plastics.
Marine life will be able to recover
But it all depends on humanity's commitment to mitigate the effects of climate change. An international team of researchers from 16 universities and institutions estimates that it is possible that the planet's marine life will fully recover in 30 years, yes, under very specific conditions. In addition to a low-emissions scenario, the scientists identified nine key components for rebuilding the oceans: salt marshes, mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs, seaweed, oyster beds, fishing, megafauna and deep ocean.
The Arctic will run out of ice during the summer
In summer, it is common for the Arctic ice mass to shrink. However, the trend in recent years, as a consequence of climate change, is a very pronounced reversal. So much so that a sea ice research group at the University of Hamburg (Germany) has predicted that the Arctic will be ice-free during the summer by 2050.
The sea level will rise half a meter
The alarming predictions of rising sea levels predict a rise of more than five millimeters a year by 2050. If the trend continues, in the future many cities and ecosystems will succumb to the advance of the oceans, food for the melting of the Arctic.
The Indian Ocean could develop its own 'El Niño'
Research led by scientists at the University of Texas estimates that global warming is approaching a tipping point that could spark an ancient El Niño-like weather pattern in the Indian Ocean this century. If it does happen, floods, storms and droughts are likely to worsen and become more regular, disproportionately affecting populations most vulnerable to climate change.
Much of the species of plants and animals will disappear
Researchers at the University of Arizona fewer than two in 10 species of plants and animals on Earth by 2070. But if humans cause higher temperature increases, we could lose more than a third or even half of all animal species and vegetables. By 2050, we would have already lost a large part of animals and plants.
Hunga Tonga Island 'will vanish'
Hunga Tonga is a volcanic island located between two uninhabited Polynesian islands that are part of the Kingdom of Tonga. It was born in 2015 after the eruption of an underwater volcano in the South Pacific. But this young landmass won't last long. Scientists from Columbia University (USA), who are studying the island together with NASA researchers, believe that it will not last more than 30 years.
The Sun will emit less light and heat to Earth
According to an estimate by, a total solar irradiation reduced to 0.25% is expected over a 50-year period between 2020 and 2070, reaching its peak in 2050. The cooling effect produced by a large minimum is only a fraction of the increase in temperature caused by the concentration of carbon dioxide. Therefore, solar minimum will not prevent the Earth from continuing to warm, although it could slightly slow down the rate of warming.
80% of the energy will be renewable
Experts expect this sector to grow enormously in the coming decades. Renewable sources could meet 80% of global energy needs by mid-century. This percentage could significantly reduce emissions, which could help mitigate some of the effects mentioned in this gallery.
Will we achieve nuclear fusion?
And to mitigate the effect of greenhouse gases, fossil fuels have to be completely abandoned… progressively. Nuclear energy by fission (the only one we use today) is presented here as an ally of renewables. But the most critical still point to great disadvantages of fission, such as nuclear waste.
For many, it is the true environmental dream; However, other experts see the project of creating a "miniature Sun" much further away. Although many countries are already investing large amounts of funds and scientific effort to achieve this type of power source by 2050, chances are that we will not be able to enjoy commercial fusion nuclear power until a long time later.
It will be difficult to feed the world's population
A report from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) predicts that in 2050 it will be difficult to feed the world's population, due to population growth and the destruction of agricultural ecosystems.
The world population will stop growing
Intuitively, we can think that the human population is continually growing. But, towards the middle of a century, it seems that it will stabilize. According to estimates by the National Organization of the United Nations (UN), the world population in 2100 will move between 15.8 billion people for the highest estimate, and 6.2 billion for the lowest.
The end of the human species?
Much more radical still was the prediction of an Australian specialized center, theBreakthrough National Center for Climate Restoration, which predicted the end of the human species by the year 2050 if mitigation measures are not taken for the current climate and ecological crisis. However, this hypothesis does not enjoy much support among the scientific community.
These professions will disappear
What does seem to definitely disappear are some professions, which will become obsolete due to technological progress. In the last 20 years, there have been radical changes in labor material. Therefore, more profound changes are expected to occur during the next three decades. Some professions, such as travel agents, transporters, cashiers, telemarketers or machinists will be a thing of the past. However, as has also happened in the first two decades of the 21st century, new professions will emerge due to new needs.