Endless Summer Not As Nice As It Sounds
Queensland, Australia river Copyright 2004 Renate Leahy
By Stephen Leahy
Jan 25 (IPS) – Warmer, wetter and stormier — the largest ever scientific review of climate change will say there is virtually no doubt that emissions from burning fossil fuels are causing the documented rise in global temperatures.
Average temperatures are set to rise between two and 4.5 degrees C sometime between 2030 and 2050, bringing with them massive ecological impacts, according to media reports of leaked documents from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an umbrella organisation of scientists from around the world and the preeminent authority on climate change.
Part one of the IPCC’s massive Fourth Assessment Report. will be officially made public in Paris on Feb. 2.
“It’s the same message that the IPCC has been saying for 20 years but with much better scientific understanding and certainty,” said Andrew Weaver, a climatologist at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences in University of Victoria, Canada.
“The bottom line is that the temperature rise is not going to be any lower than two degrees C,” Weaver, one of the lead authors of the forthcoming IPCC report, told IPS.
Nearly 30 years ago, climate scientists began to calculate the impacts of the burning of fossil fuels on global temperatures. If the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere doubled from the pre-industrial average of 280 parts per million (ppm), it would raise global temperatures from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C, they found.
Currently CO2 is at roughly 380 ppm and rising at three ppm per year and that rate is accelerating as China, India and other countries industrialise. Many climate experts say it will be extremely difficult to avoid reaching 560 ppm — or a doubling — sometime between 2030 and 2050.
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