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Hadley Centre Predicts Catastrophic Global Warming by 2050

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  • Mike Neuman
    Climate forecast soars into the red Paul Brown, environment correspondent Tuesday December 14, 2004 The Guardian By 2050
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 15, 2004
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      "Climate forecast soars into the red"

      Paul Brown, environment correspondent
      Tuesday December 14, 2004
      The Guardian <<http://www.guardian.co.uk>>

      By 2050 heatwaves like that of 2003, which killed 15,000 in Europe
      and pushed British temperatures above 38C (100F) for the first time,
      will seem "unusually cool", the Hadley Centre for Climate Change

      In its report "Uncertainty, Risk and Dangerous Climate Change", to be
      published today at the climate talks in Buenos Aires, it estimates
      that average temperatures will rise by 3.5C, well above the 2C which
      the EU says is the limit to avoid catastrophic global warming.

      It also says that the Greenland ice sheet could disappear, ultimately
      raising the global sea level by 7 metres. This could proceed at the
      rate of 5.5mm a year, and this with the 3mm rise caused by the
      thermal expansion of sea water would soon put large part of Britain,
      including the London docklands, under threat.

      Once that process began it would be impossible to "regrow" the ice
      cap, the report says. The government is already concerned about the
      Greenland melt affecting the British climate and is spending £20m on
      studying it.

      The fresh water being added to the Atlantic from the Arctic and
      Greenland ice threatens to slow or stop the current which warms the
      North Atlantic, the Gulf Stream.

      Professor Niels Reeh of the Danish Polar Institute, who has been
      studying the Greenland ice for 20 years, says the loss between 1995
      and 1999 was about 50 cubic kilometres of ice a year, enough to raise
      the global sea level by 0.13mm a year.

      The Hadley Centre says that if the Gulf Stream stops warming
      Britain's shores, winter temperatures will plunge within 10 years,
      regularly reaching minus 10C.

      The report says that rapid warming continued in the first nine months
      of 2004.

      Margaret Beckett, the environment secretary, who is in Buenos Aires,
      hopes to boost preparation for the Kyoto protocol's coming into force
      on February 16. It legally binds the industrial countries which have
      signed it to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
      Yesterday she stressed that Britain would use its coming presidency
      of the G8 and the EU to push climate change up the international

      The conference will consider how to proceed after 2010, when the
      Kyoto agreement ends. All agree that further big cuts in CO2
      emissions will be needed and that the US, India and China should come
      on board, but have no idea how it can be done.

      Hadley Centre Report (December 2004):
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