2006/01/29

Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change


Some Experts on Global Warming Foresee 'Tipping Point' When It Is Too Late to Act

According to the Washington Post, now that most scientists agree human activity is causing Earth to warm, the central debate has shifted to whether climate change is progressing so rapidly that, within decades, humans may be helpless to slow or reverse the trend.

This "tipping point" scenario has begun to consume many prominent researchers in the United States and abroad, because the answer could determine how drastically countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. While scientists remain uncertain when such a point might occur, many say it is urgent that policymakers cut global carbon dioxide emissions in half over the next 50 years or risk the triggering of changes that would be irreversible.

"There are three specific events that these scientists describe as especially worrisome and potentially imminent, although the time frames are a matter of dispute: widespread coral bleaching that could damage the world's fisheries within three decades; dramatic sea level rise by the end of the century that would take tens of thousands of years to reverse; and, within 200 years, a shutdown of the ocean current that moderates temperatures in northern Europe.

The debate has been intensifying because Earth is warming much faster than some researchers had predicted."

Meanwhile Canada has done little to address this issue notwithstanding Paul Martin's December attacks on the U.S. Stephen Harper has said he will do something different. What? Stephen, we await your clarification.

1 comment:

Protect the Earth said...

If we don't act now, we will be sacrificing the inheritance of our grand-children.