Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Forget about Limiting Global Warming to 2°C Says Climate Expert
Some very sobering opinions on global warming are emanating from climate scientists gathered in Copenhagen for an international climate meeting. A particularly gloomy picture of the situation comes from Professor Katharine Richardson, chair of the scientific conference’s steering committee. As reported by the Times Online, Professor Richardson said in an interview that “We can forget about the 2°C. We are now facing the situation where we have to avoid a 5°-6°C rise in temperature.” The 2°C mark of course is the amount that many climate scientists have been saying is the most that global temperature can rise from preindustrial times without kicking off catastrophic climate change. Professor Richardson says “What we know now is that we are we facing the worst case scenario.” She came to this extremely gloomy conclusion after looking through hundreds of scientific papers that had been submitted to the conference. It seems hard to imagine that any politicians will embrace this forecast for certain disaster. How can a leader not express any hope except the hope that an even worse catastrophe than one certain to come can possibly be avoided? Certainly they would have to at least express the hope that some sort of geoengineering scheme would come to the rescue. Or, at least in democracies, the people could elect deniers and take comfort in global warming denial as so many Americans do today.