I found this article in the Columbus Dispatch about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration’s (NOAA) reports that claim that the effects of climate change are irreversible at this point in time. In other words, we are past the point of no return. The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims that we are past the stage in climate change where whatever we do, will not have an impact on the atmosphere until a long time from now. It claims that even if humans were to stop emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere immediately, the climate change would not cease to affect the earth until around 1000 years from now. They also stress that while this climate change is now irreversible, we must still work to curb carbon emissions in an effort to keep climate change from getting worse and working faster. This is important, as the longer we wait to do something, the higher the levels of irreversible climate change we must adapt to. This may include long lasting droughts in some of the most important areas in the world for cultivating crops to a gradual sea level rise. It is predicted that sea level will rise anywhere from 1-9 meters by 2100. If sea levels rise even 1 meter above current levels, it could encompass an area of 2.2 million square kilometers of land, displacing almost 200 million people. Nearly 634 million people live within 9 meters of the current sea level and 2/3 of the world’s cities with over 5 million people are located in these low lying areas. Climate change may be irreversible now, at least for our generation, but the strides we make today will slow the current rate of climate change.