The former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global average temperatures could reach 5°C above their pre-industrial level.
LONDON, 14 February – The world has missed the chance to keep greenhouse gas emissions below the level needed to prevent the temperature climbing above 2°C, according to the British scientist who used to chair the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The scientist, Professor Sir Robert Watson, chaired the Panel from 1997 until 2002, when he was ousted after US pressure for his removal.
Professor Watson says there is a 50-50 chance of preventing global average temperatures rising more than 3°C above their level at the start of the industrial age, but a 5°C rise is possible. That would mean the Earth warming more than it has since the end of the last Ice Age.
He was speaking at a symposium, Preventing global non-communicable diseases through low-carbon development, held at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
He said: “All the promises in the world, which we’re not likely to realise anyway, will not give us a world with only a 2°C rise. All the evidence, in my opinion, suggests we’re on our way to a 3°C to 5°C world.
Starring: Professor Mike Lockwood: Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe, at Texas Tech University: Hurricane Chaser, Jason Dunion: Professor Kerry Emanuel, who specialises in hurricanes, braces against the wind on Crane Beach, MA, on the North Atlantic coast: Cotton farmer Matt Farmer, Lamesa, TX: Adam Scaife, Head of Seasonal to Decadal Prediction at the UK Met Office: Forecaster Helen Chivers: Violinist, Tamsin Waley Cohen who plays a Stradivarius violin!
Will James Delingpole or Piers Corbyn or any "Climate Realist" be able to take part in the story? Sadly no, it looks like 100% propaganda from the BBC to get home the story of "Man Made" Climate Change. DONT MISS IT
With an El Niño on the way, 2013 could be the warmest year on record. But the climate-denial machine will keep on churning
IT HAS been another "normal" global-warming summer in the northern hemisphere. The US sweltered in the hottest July on record, following the hottest spring on record. More than 60 per cent of the contiguous US is suffering from drought, as are parts of eastern Europe and India. In the Arctic, sea ice cover is at a record low and the Greenland ice sheet shows what the US National Snow and Ice Data Center calls "extraordinary high melting". Global land temperatures for May and June were the hottest since records began in the 19th century.
Meanwhile, El Niño conditions are forecast to develop in the tropical Pacific Ocean, warming up ocean surface temperatures. Some observers have predicted that this will lead to record-breaking global temperatures next year.
If El Niño does arrive and temperature records are broken, there will inevitably be much discussion of the causes of the warming. So now is a good time to sort signal from noise in the global temperature records.
Being a parent means you get to talk to kids to about climate change. Not your own kids, of course. With them, you're lucky if you can deduce what homework they have each night. But when their friends come over after school, that's when you get a chance. And, encouragingly enough, I've found a no-spin zone in talking with kids about climate change -- something I rarely encounter when talking with neighbors and colleagues steeped in op-ed page rhetoric. And it's in these no-spin conversations that one of the important truths about climate change comes out: global warming isn't a science problem. It's a political problem.
Naturally enough at this point in the conversation, the kids are pretty bummed out. But still they ask if there is anything we can do about it. And once again, the answer is pretty clear. This time it's the engineers, economists, and business consultants that have done the math. Investing in energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy is not only feasible, it often saves a lot of money. Over in Germany the government is looking at a plan to switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Right now, 25 percent of the German electrical grid is already powered by renewable energy.
Mankind must go green or die, says Prince Charles – The Prince of Wales has warned that mankind is on the brink of “committing suicide on a grand scale” unless urgent progress is made in tackling green issues such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, intensive farming and resource depletion.
Adopting uncharacteristically apocalyptic language, the Prince said the world was heading towards a “terrifying point of no return” and that future generations faced an “unimaginable future” on a toxic planet.
In a pre-recorded speech broadcast in acceptance of an lifetime environmental achievement award, the Prince said green views that had once seen him written off as a “crank” were now backed by hard evidence.
He told the gala ceremony for the 7th International Green Awards at Battersea Power Station in London that fossil fuels and supplies of fresh water were under pressure while the stability of weather patterns was threatened and “vast amounts of CO2” were still pumped into the atmosphere. “Humanity and the Earth will soon begin to suffer some very grim consequences,” he said.
One of Britain's leading polar explorers has told Sky News that decades of campaign efforts to get people engaged with climate change have failed.
Robert Swan, who was the first man to walk to both the North and South poles, was speaking in Argentina on the eve of the launch of his latest expedition to Antarctica - one which he hopes will help turn the tide of public apathy towards green issues.
He said: "People are really sick and tired of seeing pictures of another glacier melting, another forest dying.
Humans are a plague on the Earth that need to be controlled by limiting population growth, according to Sir David Attenborough.
The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.
He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.
“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times.
Sir David, who is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, has spoken out before about the “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries.
“We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves — and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case. Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists has posted an informative breakdown on the connections between the winter storm bearing down on the Northeast and the planet's changing climate.
"It’s Cold and My Car is Buried in Snow. Is Global Warming Really Happening?," notes that storms like this one -- a classic Nor'easter -- are well-known to residents along the nation's North Atlantic coast. But shifts in the climate due in large part, most scientists say, to burning fossil fuels, are likely to make such storms even more fierce and frequent.
In an emailed statement, UCS climate scientist Brenda Ekwurzel explained, citing data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
Rising ocean surface temperatures already have increased the temperature and moisture content of the air passing over the United States, setting the stage for heavier snow and rain storms. Global warming has increased the risk of dumping heavier precipitation -- as rain or snow -- over most land regions that experience storms.
In the U.S., the region that has experienced the highest increase in heaviest precipitation is the Northeast over the last half century. According to NOAA, the Northeast saw a 74 percent increase in the amount of precipitation that fell during the heaviest rain and snow events between 1958 and 2011.