A rabbit runs from a wildfire burning along the Pacific Coast Highway near Point Mugu State Park in Ventura County, California, on 3 May 2013. Some 4,000 homes were threatened by a growing wildfire northwest of Los Angeles that has forced the closure of California's scenic coastal highway, firefighters said. Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images

By Tim Radford for Climate News Network, part of the Guardian Environment Network   
5 July 2013

(The Guardian) – Governments that agreed to try to restrict global warming to a rise of no more than 2°C may have set themselves the wrong target, according to Swiss scientists.

Marco Steinacher from the University of Bern and colleagues report in Nature that the cuts in carbon dioxide emissions necessary to achieve this limit to rising temperatures won't stop sea level rise, won't halt the acidification of the oceans and won't repair the losses in agricultural productivity.

They argue that a simple notch on the mercury thermometer 2°C above the pre-industrial average is not ambitious enough. The climate system involves more than just global mean atmospheric temperature: it also depends on the atmosphere's interactions with the hydrosphere, the biosphere and the geosphere.

To keep the planet habitable, governments have also committed themselves to save biodiversity and at the same time to deliver food security for the 10 billion citizens who may populate the Earth later this century. All these targets will together require much deeper cuts in emissions.

"Therefore, temperature targets alone are unable to comprehensively limit the risks from anthropogenic emissions", they warn bluntly.

"When we consider all targets jointly, CO2 emissions have to be cut twice as much as if we only want to meet the two degree target." [more]

2C climate target is half of what is needed, say scientists


  1. Moh Kan Wu said...

    Only cut CO2 could not resolve the disaster wildfire, think about Gen 2:17 But of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not take; for on the day when you take of it, death will certainly come to you.  


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