Grim Science

The news gets grimmer on the science front, judging by a session reviewing the latest climate change research. And despite all the proposals on the table for emissions reductions by 2020, we will only make two-thirds of the progress required to avoid reaching the tipping point, says Robert Correl, from Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, United States.

Here’s a sample of the grim tidings from Correl; from Pal Presterud, director of Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), Oslo; and Stein Sanven of the Nansen Centre, Oslo:
• Since 2000, carbon dioxide emissions have grown at four times the rate that they grew in the 1990s and are now above the worst case emission scenario of the IPCC.
• Despite 15 years of intense international negotiations, concentrations of carbon dioxide have been growing 33 per cent faster in the last eight years than in the 1990s.
• In 2008, atmospheric carbon dioxide touched 387 parts per million (ppm) – 40 per cent above pre-industrial levels.
• Oceans that serve as sinks for carbon dioxide are becoming warmer and more acidic, while the Arctic – the ‘climate change bellwether’ – is now facing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on the earth.

Correl ends on an even grimmer note. Even at the most optimistic estimates, the rise in temperature will stabilise at an average of 3.5 degrees rise over pre-industrial levels, he says.

T. V Padma, South Asia Regional Coordinator, SciDev.Net

6 Responses to Grim Science

  1. PLEASE THINK THE ROLE OF SUN AND COSMIC RAYS ON GLOBAL WARMING

    Whole world is working on the carbon dioxide flux and Global warming. USA and other developed countries are trying to stop the industrial and agricultural development of developing countries with a planned IPCC report. It is a matter of scientific concern to consider the influence of Sun and extra galactic Cosmic rays on the Global warming along with the activities of Industries and Agricultural practices.

  2. The good news is that there is no clear link between CO2 levels and global temperatures. In fact the evidence for a hypothetical link is growing less all the time. Of course Bob Correl is not about to admit this, as he was one of the prime defenders of the theory of human induced warming, ever since the 1980s. Science changes, Correl does not.

  3. JMoore says:

    So the fact that you think Co2 and temperature are not related relinquishes us from responsibility for doing anything about risung Co2 in our atmosphere? I’ve recently seen a study that stated CO2 and temperature may even be more linked than one thought. They are out there. However, whether it is or not we are still seeing drastic effects on water, food, sea levels, glaciers, storms, and quality of life. To simply dismiss our responsibility here just because you think there is no correlation is simply to me well, immoral.

  4. Yes, speculation is no reason for precipitate action, especially when the evidence is against the claims. Atmospheric CO2 is the global food supply. Other things being equal we should be happy it is going up. One can question the morality of trying to lower it. There is nothing immoral about being reasonable.

  5. This a good example of computer driven speculation. In fact, and ironically, the point of the article is that the present models are wrong. Speculation is not a basis for action. If it were we would be running in all directions at once.

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