Monday, November 29, 2010

Climate change scientists warn 4C global temperature rise will create hellish world

Turkana nomadic pastoralists herd goats and sheep to an
almost dry dam in northwestern Kenya, December 2009.
Photograph: Stephen Morrison/EPA (The Guardian)
A hellish vision of a world warmed by 4C within a lifetime has been set out by an international team of scientists. The agonisingly slow progress of the global climate change talks that restart in Mexico today makes the so-called safe limit of 2C impossible to keep. A 4C rise in the planet's temperature would see severe droughts across the world and millions of migrants seeking refuge as their food supplies collapse.

Story in Guardian.  Comments also worth reading.

Royal Society publication :  'Four degrees and beyond: the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications'


  1. Climate change has been very much out of the news since 'climate gate'. Do you think there is a chance that in fact we were indeed worrying about nothing, and that, as the right-wing skeptics say, it was merely a guise to raise taxes and increase governmental control?

  2. I have no doubt climate change is a threat to human civilisation such as has never occurred before in history.

    As to climategate, the University of East Anglia climate scientists’ conclusions that the planet is warming stands on solid ground. No serious scientist doubts this. An inquiry was set up under Ron Oxburgh, a former chair of the UK House of Lords science and technology select committee. The Royal Society (the UK’s premier scientific body) recommended his appointment and that of the panel of scientists which assisted him. In New Scientist 14 April 2010 he was quoted as saying "We found absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever," and "We are absolutely satisfied that these people were doing their job fairly. I don't think they even minded what the outcome [of their research] was, as long as it was as close to truth as possible”

    I think the climategate affair was basically caused by overworked scientists being harassed by vexatious demands for their data from climate deniers, whom they were trying to swat away as quickly as possible so they could get on with their work. It’s easy to see how it could have happened. Ideally they should have been able to rely on a public relations department to do this for them, but they couldn't, they had to fit it somehow into their working day and it went belly up on them, and their personal emails were quoted out of context.

    Merchants of Doubt, a book by science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway details how front groups for the fossil-fuel industry have been waging an orchestrated, well-funded campaign against climate science and climate scientists for more than two decades. Climategate was simply the latest skirmish in this war against science, timed to forestall any progress towards lowering carbon emissions at the Copenhagen climate conference being held about a month later.

    The denial machine has kept on churning. Money is still pouring in. Many of the 'scientists' working on climate denial first worked for big tobabbcco companies and for about 20 years succeeded in holding back legislation to curb tobacco use. They even associated tobacco curbs with Hitler.

  3. Interesting stuff. It really is terrible that this, that should have been a minor glip, has had such a prolonged affect on the climate change issue - it has been out of the spotlight quite a bit since climategate happened, and time is running out.