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The Four Degrees

People always talking ’bout two degrees. For the last ten years. But now, almost overnight, people whispering four degrees under their breath. And shivering, in a kind of anxious, fearful manner.

What, I want to know, happened to the three degrees ? Why do we have to jump all the way to four degrees straight away ? Can’t we do it gradually ? Give ourselves some time to adjust, and chill.

This could all happen within 50 years ? You mean it’s all happening sooner than we thought ? Oh. My.

And there’s a conference :-

“Despite 17 years of negotiations since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, global greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise. Since 2000 the rates of annual emissions growth have increased at rates at the upper end of the IPCC scenarios, presenting the global community with a stark challenge: either instigate an immediate and radical reversal in existing emission trends or accept global temperature rises well beyond 4°.”

“The immediacy and scale of the reductions necessary to avoid anything below 4°C, and indeed the human and ecosystem implications of living with 4°C, are beyond anything we have been prepared to countenance. Understanding the implications of 4°C and higher temperatures is essential if global society is to make informed choices about the balance between “extreme” rates of mitigation and “extreme” impacts and adaptation costs.”

“The aim of this conference is therefore to: (i) assess the consequences of a change in global temperature above 4°C for a range of systems and sectors, and (ii) explore the options that are open for avoiding climate changes of this magnitude. The results of the conference will form an important background to the COP 15 United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Copenhagen, December 2009, and the inevitable negotiations that will follow COP 15.”

“Met Office: catastrophic climate change could happen with[in] 50 years : Catastrophic climate change could happen with[in] 50 years, five decades earlier than previously predicted, according to a Met Office report. : By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent : Published: 27 Sep 2009”

“An average global temperature rise of 7.2F (4C), considered a dangerous tipping point, could happen by 2060, causing droughts around the world, sea level rises and the collapse of important ecosystems, it warns.”

“The Arctic could see an increase in temperatures of 28.8F (16C), while parts of sub Saharan Africa and North America would be devastated by an increase in temperature of up to 18F (10C).”

“Britain’s temperature would rise by the average 7.2F (4C) which would mean Mediterranean summers and an extended growing season for new crops like olives, vines and apricots.”

“Dr New said the world must now concentrate on keeping the rise below 4C to try to prevent the worst effects of climate change.”

“”Two degrees is important politically but in terms of what is going to happen, I think a lot of people think it is a lost cause already,” he said. “Four degrees is highly plausible given the evidence and it is different enough from two degrees that we can start exploring the difficulties and what the world will look like.””

“DECC said ministers will use the new study to push for a tough deal at Copenhagen calling for rich countries to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 and poor countries to limit carbon dioxide in return for financial help.”

“A spokesman said: “A four degree rise in global temperatures would have serious consequences for mankind with food security, water availability and health all being adversely affected. This report illustrates why it imperative for the world to reach an ambitious climate deal at Copenhagen which keeps the global temperature increase to below two degrees.””

“Chinese advisor questions target of two degrees : ”Unrealistic” that global warming can be kept below two degrees Celsius – a target endorsed by the UN, the G-20 and many others – according to Dai Yande, a key energy scientist in China. : Morten Andersen 18/09/2009”

One reply on “The Four Degrees”

i kinda thought the last stop was 2°C, and after that the train would whizz through the next stations with no more stops until the end

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