There are less than ten years to save the planet

There is less than a decade to avoid a catastrophic disruption of the Earth's climate, says a large study to be released on Tuesday.

Written by a large panel of scientists, former politicians and economists, this report, dubbed 'Meeting the Climate Change' fixes at ten years, "maybe even less", the point of climate no-return beyond which the release of greenhouse gases will cause a disastrous rise in temperature for the planet.

According to this study, the Earth will reach this stage when the average temperature will have increased by 2 degrees compared to the period preceding the industrial revolution of the 18e century.

However, since that time, the planet has already gained 0,8 degrees on average. "The world therefore has only a small degree of margin before the point of no return is reached," warn the study authors.

For them, the Earth will have reached this point of no return when its atmosphere contains 400 parts of CO2 per million (ppm). Today, it already contains 379 ppm, a level increasing by 2 ppm each year, says the study.

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A global warming of more than 2 degrees will lead to serious disruptions in agricultural production, major droughts, an increase in epidemics, the death of forests, the disappearance of several animal and plant species, as well as a rise in the level of seas.

"An ecological time bomb is on the way," warns Stephen Byers, former British Minister of Transport and member of the panel of experts behind the report, which comes as Tony Blair begins his presidency of the G8, during which he has promised to tackle climate change head on.

The report urgently recommends that the countries of this organization produce, by 2025, a quarter of their electricity with renewable sources and double by 2010 the research budgets devoted to non-fossil energies.

"These are the investments we are making from now on and for the next 20 years that will allow us to stabilize the climate. Not the ones we will agree to by the middle of the 21st century or beyond, "concludes Tom Burke, Tony Blair's former environmental advisor and also a member of this panel.

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