Global warming may be even hotter
- Global warming may be even hotter
By Deborah Smith Science Editor
March 1, 2006
THE Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will warn the world's
politicians that the Earth's temperature could rise far higher in
response to greenhouse gas emissions than previously thought.
A secret draft version of the next report by the United Nation's
influential panel of climate experts, to be given to governments in
April, will say a reliable upper limit can no longer be put on how
quickly the world will warm, according to the British newspaper The
Australian scientists said the reported warning reflected a growing
body of recent research showing that climate change was occurring
more rapidly than expected.
Some computer models had forseen temperature increases of as much as
11 degrees from a doubling of carbon dioxide levels in the
atmosphere. The climate change panel had assumed a doubling of carbon
dioxide levels would lead to a temperature rise of between 1.5
degrees and 4.5 degrees.
Dr Barrie Pittock, a retired CSIRO researcher and the author of
Climate Change, Turning up the Heat, said models of climate change
always involved a range of uncertainty, but the possibility of a
large increase in temperature had to be taken very seriously. "If
you're taking a risk-management approach and want to avoid what is
disastrous you have got to go to the upper end of the range and avoid
that," he said.
Professor Ian Lowe, an environmental scientist and president of the
Australian Conservation Foundation, said he hoped the report would
convince the Australian Government of the seriousness of the issue
because it was still listening to the "10 or 12 sceptics of the