Grist Magazine asks “How foerked are we ?” in the promotional picture for their Copenhagen Diaries.
For Professor Corinne Le Quere, from the British Antarctic Survey and East Anglia University, the answer is “very” :-
“Catastrophic climate change ‘inevitable’, scientists warn : The Daily Telegraph : November 20, 2009 12:01am : (*) Temperatures likley to rise 6C in 90 years (*) Would render parts of globe uninhabitable (*) Earth’s ability to absorb CO2 declining…THE world is spinning toward a catastrophic climate change scenario, with temperatures now far more likely to rise by 6C by the end of the century, a leading international team of scientists has warned. An increase of 6C would have irreversible consequences, rendering large parts of the globe uninhabitable and destroying much of life on earth. The study by Professor Corinne Le Quere, from the British Antarctic Survey and East Anglia University, is the most comprehensive so far of how economic changes and shifts in the way people used land over the past 50 years have affected CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. It also claims the Earth’s natural ability to absorb CO2 into soil, forests and oceans is declining. The nightmarish possibility of a 6C temperature rise was made public by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007, when it was then only a worst-case scenario. But according to Professor Le Quere it is now all but inevitable…”
Some areas of the world which are already hot and dry are already beginning to suffer the effects :-
20 November 2009 : “‘Catastrophic’ warning as fires flare in Australia : By Amy Coopes : SYDNEY — Australian firefighters battled dozens of bush blazes on Friday as record-breaking hot weather sparked “catastrophic” warnings in two states, just months after the country’s worst ever wildfire disaster. Major lightning storms set off about 100 blazes in South Australia alone, most of which had since burned out, according to the state’s Country Fire Service. Emergency crews also battled scores of fires in the most populous state of New South Wales, some on the outskirts of Sydney, the Rural Fire Service (RFS) said. More than a quarter of the state was considered at catastrophic risk and lightning strikes set two homes in the city ablaze. “We have seen more than 80 fires across New South Wales today,” said RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons. “The biggest challenge today and into the weekend is the continuing of this hot air mass dominating much of the state,” he added. Hundred-year records tumbled this week as the south and southeast of Australia sweltered through a heatwave which dried out vast tracts of bush and farmland already in the grip of a decade-long drought.”
There will always be some people who don’t understand why this is significant, who don’t accept it’s a process of change that is caused by burning Fossil Fuels.
But you’ve got to admit, even if you resist reading the Climate Change Science, that the observations match the projections : hotter, droughtier, stormier.