Very often we find that tail risks are associated with the phenomenon of the economy that took place during 2008 when there was a huge financial crisis all over the world. This involved catastrophic yet presumed not likely, events unfolding at the last leg of the bell curve that represents probable dangers. On the other hand, “fat tail risks” seems a possibility as of now. They are also known as “black swans” because of the reason that they might trigger large-scale devastation within a short period of time.
We are now starting to become aware that climate change has a huge possibility of the fat tail risk. Such a phenomenon includes risks that may destabilize the economy and the financial system of the world. This can occur with the help of the unavailability of accessible renewable energy sources. For instance, fossil fuels worth $1 to $4 trillion might become unviable due to the reason for stringent climate regulations.
However, the most important stinger in this tail is the risk that may cause our planet to warm up beyond the control of humankind through self-reinforcing feedback. This will definitely push all the climate changes beyond a range of fatal tipping points towards the Hothouse Earth.
There is one such feedback that concerns the Arctic sea’s white shield ice which reflects solar radiation in a safe way back into space. As a result of this, 50% of the ice cover is already lost. The remaining ice contains only some percent of the actual strong ice. This sea ice will build up gradually over several years. Moreover, the remaining ice is still very fragile because it forms every winter. This new ice is very thin as well as less reflective and can get easily broken by the waves or wind.
Tipping Point For Climate Change
The entire ice cover is estimated to be lost in the next couple of decades. After this happens the earth will naturally absorb extra heat by means of the open oceans that will further amplify the warming. This rise in sea temperature is likely to emit carbon dioxide estimated at 1 trillion tons in addition to the 2.4 trillion already existing in our atmosphere from the time of the industrial revolution.
A similar incident took place in the Amazon rainforest. This forestland absorbed a huge amount of carbon dioxide. In order to prevent our climate change from reaching a tipping point, we must soon prevent the felling of the trees. If the feeling continues, there will be a runaway response that may destroy all that remains along with the entire climate system of Latin America. This will have sweeping repercussions on the climate change already unfolding across the globe.
Even though the actions that are required to prevent our environment from hitting a tipping point are not clear, we are certainly aware of the significance and risks associated. First of all, we must start reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide. The International Agency of Energy has issued a warning that stated that we must accelerate the shift to clean energy from the use of fossil fuel as quickly as possible.
Despite being essential, targeting for a total zero within 2050 may not provide the required cooling within the first few decades. This is mainly due to the reason that burning fossil fuels emits an additional reflective aerosol that is predominantly Sulphate. Hence, the end result seems to be a little warning for 10 years following the end of the emission of fossil fuels. Then there might be some cooling in the next 20 years and further cooling in later years.
The key to preventing climate change is slowing down global warming within the next important decade. The most important way to do this is to stop the destruction of forest lands and other carbon sinks. These sinks draw enormous quantities of carbon dioxide that is stored in the soils, grasses, and trees.
The final crucial preventive measure for climate change is cutting the climate pollutants that are short-lived and greatly influential. These pollutants include HFC refrigerators, black carbon soot, methane, and tropospheric ozone. Reducing these pollutants can greatly help in reducing the global warming rate by almost half and approximately two-thirds in the Arctic. Additionally, this will also enable better food security, health products, and air quality.
Steps Taken To Curb Climate Change
Many countries worldwide are already taking steps in order to phase down HFCs with the means of the Kigali Amendment under the Montreal Protocol. This has the possibility to stop global warming by half a degree in this century.
Methane is the next big target and cutting it down will certainly reduce the temperature by roughly 0.3 degrees within the 2040s. This is definitely the easiest and most effective manner of taking out the stinger from the tail.
The Climate & Clean Air Coalition has been a huge help in making our understanding of the impact of methane and the control emission technologies improved. Regional and national regulations as well as a few beneficial voluntary measures are already in existence while many more are emerging. New and more effective global measures are still required to be implemented.
After becoming the President of the US, Biden’s summit has been a step forward in evaluating the fat-tail risk faced by humans. Despite establishing future goals, time is kind to the adverse human activities rapidly triggering climate change.