Wednesday, March 26, 2014

CLIMATE CHANGE IS WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT

NEW SCIENTIST

CLIMATE CHANGE IS EVEN WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT


(Image: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty) 

Five years ago, the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change painted a gloomy picture of our planet’s future. As climate scientists gather evidence for the next report, due in 2014, Michael Le Page gives seven reasons why things are looking even grimmer
ARCTIC WARMING

<i>(Image: Alban Kakulya/Panos Pictures)</i>
The thick sea ice in the Arctic Ocean was not expected to melt until the end of the century. If current trends continue, summer ice could be gone in a decade or two
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EXTREME WEATHER

We knew global warming was going to make the weather more extreme. But it's becoming even more extreme than anyone predicted
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FOOD PRODUCTION

In 202, droughts led to failed harvests in several regions including the US and Niger in Africa <i>(Image: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos Pictures)</i>
Global warming was expected to boost food production. Instead, food prices are soaring as the effects of extreme weather kick in
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SEA LEVEL

<i>(Image: Andrew Testa/Panos Pictures)</i>
Greenland's rapid loss of ice mean we're in for a rise of at least 1 metre by 2100, and possibly much more
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PLANETARY FEEDBACKS

<i>(Image: Ian Teh/Panos Pictures)</i>
The planet currently absorbs half our CO2emissions. All the signs are it won't for much longer
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HUMAN EMISSIONS

Building more coal or gas-fired power stations puts us on the road to decades of continued emissions<i>(Image: C.Friedrichs/Flickr/Getty)</i>
If we stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, we might be able to avoid climate disaster. In fact we are still increasing emissions
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HEAT STRESS

A heatwave in Europe in 2003 caused an enormous number of deaths<i>(Image: Sipa Press/Rex Features)</i>
If the worst climate predictions are realised, vast swathes of the globe could become too hot for humans to survive
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