This result would hold true whatever triggered this temperature-provoked species decline but now that tensions between North Korea and the US appear to have cooled off, the most serious threat is climate change caused (at least in part) by humanity’s gas-guzzling lifestyle. According to Strona, “the combination of intolerance to heat combined with co-extinctions mean that 5-6 degrees of average warming globally is enough to wipe out most life on the planet.”
Which is not a particularly cheery way to end the week – particularly one where we have heard that the Amazon is being destroyed at the fastest rate in a decade, CO2 emissions are rising for the first time in four years, and 2018’s exceptionally high temps are expected to make the last four years the hottest on record. Not to mention the Trump administration's (failed) attempt to bury its own climate report.
But we are not doomed yet. Green energy is (slowly) taking over, despite efforts by certain figures to hold it back. More and more places are pledging to switch to renewables (or at least go climate neutral). And, encouragingly, more people than ever before are prepared to acknowledge that climate change is happening – and that we are at least partly to blame.
According to the latest reports, it will be a struggle but it is still possible to limit warming to the 1.5°C advised by the IPCC, provided we act quickly. This would avoid the worst effects of climate change and keeps us well below the 5 to 6°C that could spark an “extinction domino effect”.