World on course 'for catastrophic six degrees' rise in temp'


And, this is because carbon dioxide emissions from industry, transport and deforestation, which are responsible for warming the atmosphere, have increased dramatically since 2002 and the Earth's natural ability to absorb the gas has declined, said scientists from seven countries involved in the Global Carbon Project study.
In fact, the study found that there has been a 29 per cent increase in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel between 2000 and 2008, the last year for which figures are available.
In total, CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have increased by 41 per cent between 1990 and 2008, yet global emissions in 1990 are the reference level set by the Kyoto Protocol, which countries are trying to fall below in terms of their own emissions, 'The Independent' reported.
Lead scientist Professor Corinne Le Quéré of East Anglia University said that Copenhagen was the last chance of coming to a global agreement that would curb carbon-dioxide emissions on a time-course that would hopefully stabilise temperature rises to within the danger threshold.
The findings have been published in the latest edition of the 'Nature Geoscience' journal.

"The Copenhagen conference next month is in my opinion the last chance to stabilise climate at C above pre-industrial levels in a smooth and organised way. If the agreement is too weak, or the commitments not respected, it is not 2.5C or 3C we will get: it's 5C or 6C -- that is the path we're on.
"The timescales here are extremely tight for what is needed to stabilise climate at C," Le Quéré said.
Meanwhile, the scientists have for the first time detected a failure of the Earth's natural ability to absorb man-made carbon dioxide released into the air.

They found significant evidence that more man-made CO2 is staying in the atmosphere to exacerbate the greenhouse effect because the natural "carbon sinks" that have absorbed it over previous decades on land and sea are beginning to fail, possibly as a result of rising global temperatures.

The amount of CO2 that has remained in the atmosphere as a result has increased from about 40 per cent in 1990 to 45 per cent in 2008. This suggests that the sinks are beginning to fail, the scientists said.
"Our understanding at the moment in the computer models we have used – and they are state of the art – suggests that carbon-cycle climate feedback has already kicked in.
"These models, if you project them on into the century, show quite large feedbacks, with climate amplifying global warming by between 5 per cent and 30 per cent. There are still large uncertainties, but this is carbon-cycle climate feedback that has already started," Le Quéré said.

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