There are many studies out there warning people that climate change could lead to the end of our world. However, researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder have a simple message for these scientists: chill out.
In a letter in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors write that many scientists are focusing way too much of the worst-case scenarios of climate change and environmental shifts all around the globe. While the team notes that these problems are real, constantly preaching impending doom is counter-productive and overshadows the more likely outcomes of global warming. These more-likely outcomes fall into the middle of the climate change conversation — not good, but also not extremely bad.
“We shouldn’t overstate or understate our climate future,” says CU Boulder assistant professor Matt Burgess, a fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), in a media release. “People need to think in terms of gradations, not absolutes. Yes, we need to be aware of the extremes, like climate solutions that get us to net zero before mid century, or on the flipside, global catastrophes. But it’s what’s in the middle that is more likely. And that deserves more research.”