Story by Jonathan Leake Environment Editor for The Sunday Times
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 world’s 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 Office’s 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.
Not to wax political, but take a moment to help action groups who are fighting to help the global climate change and save our natural resources. Even President Bush made alternative fuel his main focus in his State of the union recently.
Most people need to drive their cars around - at least in L.A. it's impossible to get anywhere without one - but some of us can adjust to using public transportation every now and then. Think of the next generations. Come on ladies, we can help save the world! Girl power!