A leading British global investment firm has a warning for its clients: If we keep consuming oil and gas at current rates, our planet is on course to experience a rise in global average temperatures of nearly 8℃ (14℉) by the end of the century. This would make Earth basically uninhabitable for humans.
Although this is the darkest scenario we’ve seen so far, there’s reason for cautious optimism: the new projections point out that it’s unlikely investors will simply ignore this risk, meaning that our present level of fossil fuel consumption could decrease.
Still, by current climate research standards, this is a pretty wild number. It is four times as high as the ‘safe limit’ for increasing temperatures caused by climate change, internationally recognised to be around 2℃ (3.6℉) above pre-industrial levels. Schroders, the British investment firm which controls assets worth $542 billion, released this forecast as part of a range of potential scenarios in its ‘Climate Progress Dashboard’ in late July.
That would probably convert Earth to something like Mars.