Large cloud in stormy weather

Confrontar la realidad del clima

LONDRES – El año que pasó, tres hechos relativos al cambio climático se hicieron evidentes: descarbonizar la economía es esencial; hay tecnologías nuevas que permiten lograrlo a un costo aceptable; pero el avance tecnológico por sí solo no bastará sin una fuerte intervención pública.

Los fenómenos meteorológicos extremos de diciembre (grandes inundaciones en Sudamérica, Estados Unidos y Gran Bretaña, muy poca nieve en los Alpes) derivan en parte de la fuerza de El Niño de este año (causado por el aumento de temperatura del agua del Pacífico frente a las costas de Ecuador y Perú). Pero con el calentamiento de la superficie del planeta, esos patrones climáticos serán más frecuentes e intensos; 2015 fue el año más cálido del que se tiene registro y confirmó que las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero causadas por el hombre son una fuente importante de cambio climático. Hoy la temperatura superficial promedio del planeta en tierra firme es alrededor de 1 °C superior a los niveles preindustriales.

Frente a esta realidad, el acuerdo sobre el clima alcanzado en París en diciembre es una respuesta valiosa pero insuficiente. Las principales economías del mundo se comprometieron a reducir sus emisiones por debajo de lo habitual: pero sumando los compromisos nacionales, todavía es probable un calentamiento de casi 3 °C por encima de los niveles preindustriales, perspectiva aterradora dadas las consecuencias adversas que ya son evidentes a partir de un aumento de 1 °C.

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