Climate change 'worse than thought'

Experts meeting in Denmark warn global warming accelerating faster than predicted.

    The melting of polar ice caps would lead to rising sea levels, potentially causing severe floods [AFP]

    "Certainly the message from the natural science side, the part of science that looks at how the climate system really works, isn't very good. There isn't any good news to be found there," Katherine Richardson, a scientist at the University of Copenhagen, which is hosting the talks, said.

    'Catastrophe'

    Climate scientists at the summit said that sea levels could rise by a metre - twice as much as previously projected 2100, if the melting of polar ice sheets continues.

    "This means that if the emissions of greenhouse gases is not reduced quickly and substantially even the best-case scenario will hit low-lying coastal areas housing one-tenth of humans on the planet hard,'' organisers said in a statement.

    John Church, of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research ,said: "Unless we undertake urgent and significant mitigation actions, the climate could cross a threshold during the 21st century committing the world to a sea level rise of metres".

    John Ashton, Britain's top climate negotiator, said nations needed to take such findings more seriously.

    "We need a much stronger sense in our societies of urgency. We need to look at what is a 'reasonable worst case' in the lifetime of people alive today," he said.

    "A sea level rise of one or two metres would not just be damaging for China, it would be an absolute catastrophe. And what is catastrophic for China is catastrophic for the world," he said.

    Richardson said: "Most of us have been trained as scientists to not get our hands dirty by talking to politicians. But we now realise that what we are dealing with is so complicated and urgent that we have to help to make sure the results are understood."

    She said the IPCC report was an invaluable document, but will be vastly out of date by the time policy makers convene in December to negotiate a global climate treaty.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    North Korea's nuclear weapons: Here is what we know

    North Korea's nuclear weapons