Climate research is more important than ever. The Earth’s temperature has already risen by approximately one degree. If the temperature continues to increase at the current rate, we will surpass the limit of 1.5 degrees Centigrade by the middle of this century. Surpassing this limit would cause significant risks for both nature and humankind. A recent climate report by the IPCC indicates that we have 12 years to make the necessary emissions reductions.
The message from scientists is clear. The scale of the change needed to meet this challenge is unprecedented. Emissions cuts alone are not enough to curb the rise in the Earth’s temperature. We must also be able to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using carbon sinks and the recovery of carbon dioxide. But it is not too late. From here on, each decision made, or not made, that affects climate will also affect the future of humankind. Each of these decisions should be based on high-quality scholarly research.
The University of Helsinki is rising to this challenge by leading the way in climate research. Our Centre of Excellence in Atmospheric Science, led by Academy Professor Markku Kulmala, has established worldwide networks and discovered new factors affecting climate. We have built a world-class research infrastructure and have produced the world’s longest time series dataset on particulates. The University of Helsinki carries out 15% of the world’s particulate research. But there is still a lot we do not know.
The only way to secure a future for our planet is to mitigate climate change. To do so, we need research-based knowledge about what is happening on the ground, in the atmosphere and throughout our ecosystem.
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