Were running out of time to save the planet from climate change, say scientists

March 11th, 2009 - 12:44 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, March 11 (ANI): In a new research, scientists have suggested that the Earth might be entering a phase in which climate change will pose a significant risk to unique ecosystems and species, with quite less time remaining to save them.

According to a report in New Scientist, the research has been led by Joel Smith of environmental research firm Stratus Consulting in Boulder, Colorado, who along with his collaborators, has prepared a climate change graph.

Their conclusion, not surprisingly, is that the risks have increased.

We were surprised how quickly impacts that can be attributed to climate change are becoming evident, said Smith.

He mentions in particular an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme events, and increases in the number of wildfires.

Overall, the new graph shows that climate change poses a greater risk at lower temperatures than estimated in 2001.

For some categories, it suggests the planet is already close to being in the red.

In particular, the amount of warming that we are currently experiencing is deemed to already pose significant risk to unique ecosystems and species.

Its not as if we would go from 0.99 degree Celsius to 1 degree Celsius and suddenly all unique ecosystems would disappear. The graph conveys a sense that somewhere around that (figure) we will start to see very significant impacts, said Smith.

Most governments have adopted the target of not allowing the planet to become more than 2 degree C warmer than it was before the 19th century industrial revolution.

Journalists and politicians tend to say that beyond 2 degree C is dangerous.

The planet is already 0.74 degree C warmer on average than it was in pre-industrial times.

According to Michael Mann, of Penn State University, Smiths graph shows that the further 1.26 degree C of warming would land us squarely in the red for the first three categories of risk, suggesting, that we are running out of time. (ANI)

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