Every year since 2015 (except last year), the IRM issues a heat alert. So we wonder: what will our future summers look like? Will the current heat situation get worse in the years to come? Michel Crucifix, professor of climatology at UCLouvain and senior researcher at the FNRS, gave some answers this morning on Bel RTL.
“You can never tell from year to year, but we are on a trend and this trend is clear. We are in a situation where the Earth has warmed by about 1 degree compared to the time pre-industrial. We had the ambition to limit this warming to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century, it was in the Paris agreements and we are going to go higher than that. So, yes, the trend over the decade is to worsen the current situation. What you have to understand is that the climate will warm up as long as there are CO2 emissions and humanity has never emitted as much CO2 as today. So the current trajectory, it’s a rapid worsening. To limit to 1.5 degrees or 2 degrees, we would have to imagine a very, very brutal downward curve, therefore a complete change in our economies. That’s why we don’t private, most climatologists admit that 1.5 degrees is very very very difficult.”
What are the consequences for our environment? We saw this summer the fires have never been so significant in Europe…
“Climatologists are witnessing the phenomenon like you, a life-size experience and we haven’t planned everything. The temperature curves, they are quite easy to predict, what is more difficult to predict obviously is the frequency of extreme events. What is estimated is that an event that took place every 50 years 20 years ago is an event that will occur every 10 or every 5 years in the years to come. like this, you could say ‘it’s exceptional’, but it’s an event that will now happen maybe every 5 years and we fear phenomena that we didn’t know before, and among them , mega fires, therefore extremely violent forest fires that sterilize the earth.”