HUMAN civilisation could be well on its way to total collapse by 2050، according to a shocking new research paper، the sun reported.
Researchers have modelled the potential for climate disaster and warn that such a catastrophe risks "annihilating intelligent life" within our lifetimes.
It's the latest in a growing series of calls for Governments to take "wartime"-style action on climate change.
"Climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat to human civilisation،" wrote researchers in the "Existential climate-related security risk" paper.
"A 2050 scenario is outlined in which accelerating climate change impacts post large negative consequences to humanity، which might not be undone for centuries،" the paper published by Australia's National Centre for Climate Restoration explained.
The paper warns that if global average temperatures have risen by 2 degrees Celcius by 2050، we'll face major catastrophe around the world.
Sea levels are expected to have risen by 0.5 metres، sparking an irreversible trend towards rises as high as 25 metres.
And it's claimed 35% of global land area and 55% of Earth's population will be "subject to more than 20 days a year of lethal heat conditions".
"The scale of destruction is beyond our capacity to model، with a high likelihood of human civilisation coming to an end،" researchers explain.
"This scenario provides a glimpse into the world of outright chaos on a path to the end of human civilisation and modern society as we have known it.
"The world is currently completely unprepared to envisage، and even less deal with، the consequences of catastrophic climate change."
The paper predicts widespread devastation all around the world.
Summer monsoons in China are expected to fail – drying up rivers vital to life – and 30% of the world's land surface could become arid.
It expects "severe" desertification across southern Africa، the southern Mediterranean، west Asia، the Middle East، inland Australia and across the south-western United States.
And ecosystems like coral reef systems، the Amazon rainforest and the Arctic could collapse.
"To reduce such risks and to sustain human civilisation، it is essential to build a zero-emissions industrial system very quickly،" the paper warns.
"This requires the global mobilisation of resources on an emergency basis، akin to a wartime level of response."
According to researchers، some poor nations will become "unviable" and cease to exist، because they won't be able to afford artificially-cooled environments for their people.
More than a billion people could be displaced from the tropical zone، and agriculture could become "non-viable" in the dry subtropics.
It warns that "most regions" would see a significant drop in food production، and increasing numbers of extreme weather events.
And food production would be "inadequate to feed the global population"، causing food prices to skyrocket.
"Climate change intersects with pre-existing national security risks to function as a threat multiplier and accelerant to instability، contributing to escalating cycles of humanitarian and socio-political crises، conflict and forced migration،" the paper notes.
"Climate change impacts on food and water system، declining crop yields and rising food prices driven by drought، wildfire and harvest failures have already become catalysts for social breakdown and conflict across the Middle East، the Maghreb and the Sahel، contributing to the European migration crisis."
Importantly، the report warns that scientists have so far been downplaying the risks of climate change.
"Climate scientists may err on the side of 'least drama'، whose causes may include adherence to the scientific norms of restraint، objectivity and skepticism، and may underpredict ore down-play future climate changes،" the paper notes.
It adds that climate change could cause "large negative consequences to humanity which may never be undone، either annihilating intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtailing its potential".
Of course، this apocalyptic scenario is just a "model"، which means it's not necessarily going to happen.
It's possible that we might avoid the 2 degrees Celcius warming that could spark this catastrophe.
And even if we hit those levels of warming، it's no guarantee that this paper's predictions are completely accurate.
Climate change is now in ‘overdrive’ as experts warn Greenland ice melt is ‘off the charts’.
Researchers recently proved that climate change is to blame for rising sea levels – as the risk of ‘megatsunamis’ grows.
Scientists say Earth's oceans will turn ‘deep green’ by the end of the century – and climate changed is being blamed.
Greenhouse gases – what are they?
The greenhouse effect is a phenomenon that warms the Earth's surface and air
It's caused by gases in the air that trap energy that travels to Earth from the Sun
The gases that cause this effect are known as "greenhouse gases"
Common greennhouse gases include methane and carbone dioxide
This greenhouse effect is important، because it makes sure Earth stays warm enough to support life
Without the greenhouse effect، heat would escape into space – significantly cooling Earth
But there is a risk that humans are releasing too many greenhouse gases into the atmosphere
This can be caused by burning coal، oil and other fossil fuels
By trapping more heat، the temperature of Earth rises – which is believed to be one of the main causes of global warming.
Rising sea levels – what's the problem?
The global sea level has been gradually rising over the past century
Sea levels rise due to two main reasons
The first is thermal expansion – as water gets warmer، it expands
The second is melting ice on land، adding fresh water into seas
This has a cyclical effect، because melting ice also warms up the planet (and oceans)، causing more even ice to melt and boosting thermal expansion
It's currently rising at a rate of around 0.3cm per year
The sea is huge، so that might sound harmless
But rising sea levels can have a devastating effect over time
Low-lying coastal areas can disappear completely، even putting areas of the UK at risk
It can also mean sea storms and tsunamis can have a more devastating effect، reaching further in-land than they would have previously