Catastrophic climate change 'very unlikely' to be avoided, say scientists
It’s too late to avoid the devastating effects of climate change, scientists have warned today.
A rise of two degrees centigrade in global temperatures – the point considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change, which could expose millions to drought, hunger and flooding – is now ‘very unlikely’ to be avoided, claim the world’s leading scientists.
A study released by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (IPCC) states that global warming will have drastic effects on the world – particularly effecting Africa, Asian river deltas, low-lying islands and the Arctic – and that the focus must be on adapting lifestyles to survive the changes.
For more than a decade, EU countries led by Britain set a two degree rise as the benchmark after which the effects of the warming climate become devastating, bringing crop failures, water shortages, species extinction and disease.
A recent study predicted it could be as little as ten years before this ‘tipping point’ was reached, with a rise of 0.8 degrees already being seen.
The IPCC warns that people in developing countries are set to suffer the worst. A spokesman said: ‘If warming is not kept below two degree centigrade, which will require the strongest mitigation efforts, substantial global impacts will occur, such as species extinction, and millions of people at risk from drought, hunger, flooding.’
Campaigners say that the findings bring added urgency to slash carbon emissions. John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, told the Independent: ‘The EU needs to adopt a science-based cap on emissions, ditch plans for dirty new coal plants and nuclear power stations, end aviation expansion and ban wasteful products like incandescent lightbulbs.’