Sunday, November 15, 2009

World has only ten years to control global warming, warns the UK's Met Office

Louis Gray in the Telegraph (UK): In the first study of its kind, climate scientists looked at how much pollution the world could afford to produce between now and the end of the century in order to keep temperature rises within a "safe limit". A number of different scenarios were run and the most likely outcome was that carbon dioxide from factories and cars peaked somewhere between 2010 and 2020 and then fell rapidly to zero by 2100.

In the worse-case scenario, modelled by the Met Office Hadley Centre, emissions had to turn negative by 2050 to stand any chance of keeping the temperature rise below 2C (3.6F). This would mean using "geo-engineering" such as artificial trees that are designed to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The five-year Ensembles Project is funded by the European Commission and led by the Met Office. It brings together scientists from 66 institutions around the world.

The new research developed five climate models that predicted how much greenhouse gas could be produced by mankind, as well as naturally from plants, the oceans and soil, before concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused temperatures to rise more than 2C. The models assumed that the maximum concentration of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in the atmosphere could not go beyond 450 parts per million (ppm), even though it is already close to 400 ppm now.

Paul van der Linden, director of the project, said it would be tough for the world to keep temperature rises within a safe limit…..

The mysterious alchemical figures which Nicholas Flamel caused to be carved on his tomb. Reproduced in "Witchcraft, Magic, and Alchemy" by Grillot de Givry from an old engraving.

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