Friday, November 26th 2010, 6:44 AM EST
Global action is not going to stop climate change. The world needs to look harder at how to live with it.
ON NOVEMBER 29th representatives of countries from around the world will gather in CancĂșn, Mexico, for the first high-level climate talks since those in Copenhagen last December. The organisers hope the meeting in Mexico, unlike the one in Denmark, will be unshowy but solid, leading to decisions about finance, forestry and technology transfer that will leave the world better placed to do something about global warming. Incremental progress is possible, but continued deadlock is likelier. What is out of reach, as at Copenhagen, is agreement on a plausible programme for keeping climate change in check.
The world warmed by about 0.7Â°C in the 20th century. Every year in this century has been warmer than all but one in the last (1998, since you ask). If carbon-dioxide levels were magically to stabilise where they are now (almost 390 parts per million, 40% more than before the industrial revolution) the world would probably warm by a further half a degree or so as the ocean, which is slow to change its temperature, caught up. But CO2 levels continue to rise. Despite 20 years of climate negotiation, the world is still on an emissions trajectory that fits pretty easily into the âbusiness as usualâ scenarios drawn up by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
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Source Link: economist.com