James Hansen, professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. Photo: ABC

By Marlowe Hood
11 November 2017

(PhysOrg) – The world must sharply draw down greenhouse gas emissions and suck billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air if today's youth are to be spared climate cataclysm, a top scientist has warned.

"This reality is being ignored by governments around the world," said James Hansen, who famously announced to the US Congress 30 years ago that global warming was underway.
"To say that we are 'moving in the right direction' just isn't good enough anymore," he said in an interview.

Head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies until 2013, Hansen and his 18-year-old granddaughter—who is suing the US government for contributing to the problem—delivered that message this week at UN climate negotiations in Bonn.

Thousands of diplomats at the 12-day, 196-nation talks are haggling over the fine print of a "user's manual" for a treaty that will go into effect in 2020.

Inked in the French capital in 2015, the Paris Agreement calls for capping global warming at two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

With the planet out of kilter after only one degree of warming—enough to amplify deadly heatwaves, superstorms and droughts—the treaty also vows to explore the feasibility of holding the line at 1.5°C.
"That is a good impulse, because if we go to 2°C, it is guaranteed that we will lose our shorelines and coastal cities," said Hansen.

"The only question is how fast." […]

"Hansen does make a compelling case that many climate change impacts are occurring sooner and with greater magnitude than we expected," said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.

"Jim's past predictions have proven prescient and we do indeed ignore him at our peril."

"Hansen's contributions to the basic science of climate change are fundamental to our current understanding—no one has contributed more," said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University. [more]

Climate target too low and progress too slow: top scientist


  1. Anonymous said...

    Yep. And the world generally won't listen, not even to a top scientist on the subject matter. Or a blogger who wrote thousands of articles on this...

    Many of the scientists themselves don't believe their own data, but that is slowly changing. They don't seem to grasp how civilization works, what it depends upon and how it was built.

    I'm now left wondering where to relocate so that 'survival' in some fashion above refugee status is possible for my children. My own Life Project as it were...  


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