Friday, December 6, 2013

Temperature limit too high to avoid climate change

Nina Chestney in Reuters: An internationally agreed target to limit rises in global average temperatures to within 2 degrees Celsius is around double the threshold that would avoid catastrophic climate change, a study by 18 eminent scientists said.

Governments decided in 2009 that such temperature increases needed to be no more than 2 degrees C (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels to avoid effects such as more extreme weather, higher sea levels and ocean acidification. They aim to agree by 2015 on a global deal to cut the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change, but the reductions will not come into force until after 2020.

Last month, a United Nations conference in Warsaw kept alive hopes for the 2015 deal but nations made little progress on committing to ambitious emission cuts to keep the world on track towards the 2 degree target.

A study published in U.S.-based scientific journal PLOS One on Tuesday said the 2 degree limit was too high and a more appropriate target was around 1 degree C.

"Some climate extremes are already increasing in response to warming of several tenths of a degree in recent decades; these extremes would likely be much enhanced with warming of 2 degrees C or more," the report's authors said in a statement....

Image by 1-1111, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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