Copenhagen Report: ‘Climate Inaction Is Inexcusable’

New information reveals future temperature and sea level increases will be higher than previously thought.
From EERE Network News
June 25, 2009
Add to My MSN

The Copenhagen Report indicates that ocean warming is about 50 percent greater than what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2007.
DAVID SIFRY/FLICKR


Content Tools

Related Content

Hey Global Warming – 1 Degree? That’s All You got??

An explanation of why one degree Celsius makes such a big difference in our climate.

Reports from the Field

Read dozens of reports of reader's homesteading adventures.

You Tell Us: What are the Most Reliable Global Warming Resources?

From books and blogs to television news and online media, there are dozens of sources for learning a...

Global Warming Game for Kids

The Union of Concerned Scientists developed a card game, Cool It!, that helps children learn about g...

The most up-to-date report on climate science notes that global temperatures, sea levels, and frequency of extreme weather events are all increasing beyond the patterns of natural variability within which our contemporary society and economy have developed. That doesn’t bode well for the future of global economies and of civilization itself — nor on the ecosystems that our civilization depends on — unless global societies rise to meet the challenge of climate change.

The report, based on a scientific congress held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in March, is an attempt to update the 2007 synthesis report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has already become outdated. For instance, the IPCC report acknowledged a lack of understanding of the dynamic processes that cause polar ice to melt, so the report left those effects out and projected a sea level rise of up to 59 centimeters (23 inches) by 2100. New observations have nearly doubled that projection to one meter, or 39 inches — an increase that would threaten many islands, shorelines and low-lying wetlands.

The report also provides updates on our understanding of ocean surface temperatures and heat content, indicating that ocean warming is about 50 percent greater than the IPCC had reported. The new report also notes the rapid reduction in Arctic Sea ice in the summer. It also notes that a decreasing amount of carbon dioxide emissions are removed by natural “carbon sinks” on land and in the ocean, thereby amplifying the effect of future carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile, new studies have shown that societies and ecosystems are highly vulnerable to even modest levels of climate change, and a global temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius (about 36 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels will cause “major societal and environmental disruptions.”

To help mitigate these disruptions, the world must limit its greenhouse gas emissions through such measures as promoting energy efficiency while shifting to low-carbon energy sources, such as renewable energy. The report also identifies the eastern half of the United States as one of two critical agriculture centers for the future of the world. Given the availability of a wide range of tools and approaches to deal with climate change, the report concludes that “inaction is inexcusable.”


Reprinted from EERE Network News, a free newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy.







Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.