Skip to comments.Last Warning: 10 years to Save World (WE'RE DOOMED!)
Posted on 01/28/2007 7:10:03 PM PST by Dallas59
Scientists say rising greenhouses gases will make climate change unstoppable in a decade THE world has just 10 years to reverse surging greenhouse gas emissions or risk runaway climate change that could make many parts of the planet uninhabitable.
The stark warning comes from scientists who are working on the final draft of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The report, due to be published this week, will draw together the work of thousands of scientists from around the world who have been studying changes in the worlds climate and predicting how they might accelerate.
They conclude that unless mankind rapidly stabilises greenhouse gas emissions and starts reducing them, it will have little chance of keeping global warming within manageable limits.
The results could include the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, the forced migration of hundreds of millions of people from equatorial regions, and the loss of vast tracts of land under rising seas as the ice caps melt.
In Europe the summers could become unbearably hot, especially in southern countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy, while Britain and northern Europe would face summer droughts and wet, stormy winters.
The next 10 years are crucial, said Richard Betts, leader of a research team at the Met Offices Hadley Centre for climate prediction. In that decade we have to achieve serious reductions in carbon emissions. After that time the task becomes very much harder.
Among the scientists biggest fears is that rising temperatures and levels of greenhouse gases could soon overwhelm the natural systems that normally keep their levels in check.
About half the 24 billion tons of carbon dioxide generated by human activities each year are absorbed by forests and oceans a process without which the world might already be several degrees warmer.
But as CO2 levels rise and soils dry, microbes can start breaking down accumulated organic matter, so forests become net producers of greenhouse gases. The seas power to absorb CO2 also falls sharply as it warms.
The latest research suggests the threshold for such disastrous changes will come when CO2 levels reach 550 parts per million (ppm), roughly double their natural levels. This is predicted to happen around 2040-50.
At the moment the real impact of our emissions is buffered because CO2 is absorbed by natural systems. However, if we reach this threshold they could be magnified instead, said Betts. It means we must start the action needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the next few years.
His warnings were backed up by Dr Malte Meinshausen, a researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. He has used computer modelling to work out what might happen if greenhouse gas emissions were cut immediately, in 10 years time or later.
His results showed that immediate action might allow mankind to hold CO2 levels at 450ppm well below the 550ppm danger level. However, Meinshausen and his colleagues recognise that this is unrealistic because the worlds governments are in such disarray over global warming. The best hope, they say, is that a global plan will emerge in the next few years, most likely from the renegotiations of the Kyoto treaty on reducing emissions.
We have to make sure carbon emissions peak no later than 2015 and then fall at around 3% a year. If we let them keep rising after that date it becomes much harder to bring them under control, said Meinshausen.
His views were echoed by Dr Carol Turley of Plymouth Marine Laboratories who has been studying how rising CO2 levels are acidifying the ocean. When the gas dissolves in water it creates carbonic acid. Rising acidity makes it much harder for marine organisms to build shells, she said.
Turley, like the other scientists, has contributed to the IPCC report but all commented this weekend on the basis of already-published research. If we do not take action in the next decade, by 2100 swathes of the ocean could have been stripped of creatures from plankton to coral reefs, she said. Such changes would devastate ecosystems and fisheries.
Commissioner Barroso leads the battle from his gas-guzzling 4x4
THE president of the European commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, has been accused of hypocrisy for driving a fuel-guzzling off-road vehicle while insisting that cars must become more frugal to combat climate change, write Daniel Foggo and Nicola Smith.
Barroso last week backed proposals to force manufacturers to slash carbon dioxide emissions from new cars by more than 25% within six years.
His car is a Volkswagen Touareg, a hulking 4x4 with high fuel consumption and a carbon dioxide output of 275 g/km compared with an average of 163 g/km.
Barroso said the Touareg was chosen by his wife Margarida and that he rarely travelled in it. His other mode of transport is understood to be a commission Mercedes.
His spokesman said it was against the concept of a free society to micro-manage peoples choices.
Jan Kowalzig, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, said: Barroso claims to be committed to fighting climate change whilst driving a big gas-guzzling
car in the narrow roads of Brussels. As a high-profile politician he should lead by example, making significant changes to his own lifestyle.
In contrast, Stavros Dimas, the European environment commissioner, drives a small, green-pleasing Honda Jazz.
If we've only got 10 years, I suggest a statewide BBQ!
No sense in this stupid diet then. Saturated fats, here I come!!!!
Might as well take up smokin' too.
And everything else liberals say is bad for you.
If the USA doesn't submit to international carbon credit trading in 2 years European carbon markets will crash, the push for carbon trading will reach the tipping point of no return, and lots of "modeling" experts will lose their income.
I read somewhere we had till 2012. Thats less than 10 years? Yikes.
Now what about the parts of the world that are presently uninhabitable. Is it a wash? - tom
My mortgage will be paid off in time for the doom
One of these recent articles outlined the credentials of the latest gloom-and-doom group. Curiously enough, they were accountants and social workers. One guy had a degree in Ecology...that's sort of close, I guess.
For a panel of 'experts' that were getting so much press, I'd expect some climatologists, meteorologists and geologists. Maybe some Computer Programmers / Engineers to give their 'simulations' credibility. Instead, we got social workers.
The sad thing is that people listen to them. Hard to fight bad info with good, when no one wants to listen.
Odd,... I heard that about; the fish are vanishing, the world is cooling and a new ice age is coming, the water is evaporating, the animals are dying off, the trees are vanishing, the ozone hole is growing bigger, radiation from the sun is gonna cook us, we're running out of food an we're gonna starve, we're running out of space to live cause populations are growing too fast,.... can they please make up their minds.
Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, and Earth are all warming. How did our emissions get so far out into space to affect these other planets? Or maybe it's due to the Sun, in which case a Kyoto-type solution will send us into another ice age. We'll just have to trust our politicians...
Mankind has *always* had little chance of controlling the weather (although he has sought to do so) on a local scale, much less a regional or global scope.
It's a total frakking religion, with prophets, apostles, saints, and its own apocalypse.
Eat drink and emit C02 or methane or BOTH!
Oh, and I'm bookmarking this one for 2017.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.