If the planet continues to warm at its current pace, the average 6-year-old will live through triple the amount of climate disasters than that of their grandparents, according to a new study published in the journal Science.
If climate change and global warming continue on their current trajectory, the average 6-year-old living today will experience and be living through more than three times the amount of climate disasters as their grandparents.
A new, first-of-its-kind study released this week and published in the journal Science, suggested that today’s children will be living through 3.5 times more river flooding, 2.5 times more crop failures, 2.3 times more droughts, twice as many wildfires, and 1.7 times more tropical cyclones, compared to someone born in 1960, according to the Washington Post.
Going further, today’s children are expected to encounter an average of five times more climate disasters than people who lived 150 years ago, the study suggested.
According to the researchers, more than half of all greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere were generated after 1990. This suggests that most of the disasters children of today will likely experience can be linked back to emissions produced during the lifetimes of their parents.
The groundbreaking study was the first to look at the impacts of climate change across generations.
Lead author of the study, Wim Thiery called the research the “intergenerational inequality” of climate change, Massachusetts Live reported.
In the study, Thiery and 36 colleagues conducted a comparison of climate risks experienced by older generations to the number of extreme climate events likely to be experienced by today’s children.
Researchers say the “inequality” of climate change shows that the places that contributed the least to global warming will be the recipients of the worst effects of climate change.
The study projects that infants who are living in sub-Saharan Africa are likely to experience 50-54 times as many heat waves as those experienced by someone who was born in the preindustrial area.
The researchers said, unless leaders of the United Nations climate summit this fall in Glasgow, Scotland, agree to take on more ambitious policies, the study suggests today’s children could experience triple the amount of disasters like that of their grandparents and quintuple the number of people living 150 years ago.
Young people are frustrated as they see inaction from adults, especially since they are the ones who will have to experience the results. Anyone 40 years old and younger will likely experience the increased disasters of climate change. The frustration of younger people has led to a rise in online criminal justice degree pursuits and young people wanting to become an environmental attorney.
According to environmental attorney Dan Galpin, who is the General Counsel and Director of Climate Protection and Restoration Initiative, says such “anticipatory research” like this latest study can help establish the liability of governments’ and corporations’ for real harm experienced by kids.