How serious is climate change

Researchers warn: climate change is getting out of hand

Vienna - Researchers warn that climate change could get out of control. "There is only a short time window to limit global warming to below 1.5 or two degrees by 2100," said Gerhard Wotawa, chairman of the climate research network CCCA. The environmental NGO Global 2000 demands that climate protection "must finally be taken seriously" by politicians.

The extent to which climate change has progressed - also in Austria - is already shown by the statistics: 2018 was the warmest year in measurement history (since 1768), the period from April 2018 to April 2019 was the longest series of above-average warm months, and June 2019 was the warmest June the measurement history. In the Alpine region, temperatures have also risen twice as quickly over the past 100 years as the global mean. Extreme events such as drought, heavy precipitation and floods are becoming more and more frequent and increasingly serious.

Unpleasant effects can be felt

This development will continue even when the 1.5 degree target is reached. Wotawa expects at least 70 hot days (over 30 degrees) in Vienna by 2100. For comparison: there were 38 in 2018. "People are noticing that we have moved from the pleasant effects of climate change to the unpleasant ones," said the scientist.

If the temperature continues to rise, it becomes even more extreme. "There is only a short time window to limit global warming to below 1.5 or two degrees by 2100," said Wotawa. Unless swift and comprehensive action is taken, "global warming will spiral out of control with unpredictable worldwide consequences."

Take climate protection seriously!

To prevent this, the environmental protection organization Global 2000 called for rapid and consistent action from politicians. "We have waited enough, climate protection must now finally be taken seriously," demanded climate expert Johannes Wahlmüller.

Global 2000 has listed a seven-point plan for Austria to make the country "climate-fit": Among other things, one billion per year should be invested in climate protection. "This enables us to invest in the expansion of public transport and renewable energies and to support households in retrofitting old oil boilers and renovating buildings," said Wahlmüller. An eco-social tax reform is also necessary, which tax fossil fuels more, while labor is tax-relieved, and climate-damaging large-scale projects, laws and ordinances are stopped. (red, APA, July 17, 2019)