Warming 'Is Three Times Faster Than Worst Predictions'
By Geoffrey Lean
03 June, 2007
warming is accelerating three times more quickly than feared, a series
of startling, authoritative studies has revealed.
They have found that emissions
of carbon dioxide have been rising at thrice the rate in the 1990s.
The Arctic ice cap is melting three times as fast - and the seas are
rising twice as rapidly - as had been predicted.
News of the studies - which
are bound to lead to calls for even tougher anti-pollution measures
than have yet been contemplated - comes as the leaders of the world's
most powerful nations prepare for the most crucial meeting yet on tackling
The issue will be top of
the agenda of the G8 summit which opens in the German Baltic resort
of Heiligendamm on Wednesday, placing unprecedented pressure on President
George Bush finally to agree to international measures.
Tony Blair flies to Berlin
today to prepare for the summit with its host, Angela Merkel, the German
chancellor. They will discuss how to tackle President Bush, who last
week called for action to deal with climate change, which his critics
suggested was instead a way of delaying international agreements.
Yesterday, there were violent
clashes in the city harbour of Rostock between police and demonstrators,
during a largely peaceful march of tens of thousands of people protesting
against the summit.
The study, published by the
US National Academy of Sciences, shows that carbon dioxide emissions
have been increasing by about 3 per cent a year during this decade,
compared with 1.1 per cent a year in the 1990s.
The significance is that
this is much faster than even the highest scenario outlined in this
year's massive reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) - and suggests that their dire forecasts of devastating harvests,
dwindling water supplies, melting ice and loss of species are likely
to be understating the threat facing the world.
The study found that nearly
three-quarters of the growth in emissions came from developing countries,
with a particularly rapid rise in China. The country, however, will
resist being blamed for the problem, pointing out that its people on
average still contribute only about a sixth of the carbon dioxide emitted
by each American. And, the study shows, developed countries, with less
than a sixth of the world's people, still contribute more than two-thirds
of total emissions of the greenhouse gas.
On the ground, a study by
the University of California's National Snow and Ice Data Center shows
that Arctic ice has declined by 7.8 per cent a decade over the past
50 years, compared with an average estimate by IPCC computer models
of 2.5 per cent.
In yesterday's clashes, masked
protesters hurled flagpoles, stones and bottles and attacked with sticks
forcing police to retreat. The police said they were suffering "massive
assaults" and that the situation was "very chaotic".
They put the size of the demonstration at 25,000; organisers said it
© 2007 Independent News
and Media Limited
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