Global warming: scientists back to the bedside of the planet

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PARIS (AFP) - Scientists and government officials from thirty countries will be looking for three days this week in Exeter (UK) on global warming and should draw a pessimistic conclusion: our planet is warming faster and with more serious consequences than previously thought.

One hundred and sixty scientists from government ministers or officials are expected Tuesday in Exeter (southwest Britain) for this international conference at which will be presented 24 studies on the impact of greenhouse gas greenhouse climate.

This scientific conclave is held in a few days of the entry into force on February 16, the Kyoto Protocol, the agreement to fight against climate change adopted under the aegis of the UN in December 1997 which opposes vehemently US President. The isolation of George Bush on this issue appears even more than its closest ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who chairs this year G8, made a fetish of this conference project.

The Exeter meeting must put the state of scientific knowledge on the table, try to specify the dangerous thresholds, without deciding on the political measures that it should apply, said the president of the conference Dennis Tirpak . "The next twenty-five years will be decisive in determining what will happen by the end of the century (...). The conference will try to gather the best possible evidence, "he added.

The last major scientific conference on climate change was held in 2001 under the auspices of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC), removing the remaining doubts about the impact of the release of greenhouse gases greenhouse, which block atmospheric sunlight and alter the climate balance of the planet.

However a large margin of uncertainty remains about the extent of the phenomenon, its speed of development and the most affected areas. According to IPCC, temperatures are expected to rise by the end of the century in a range in 1,4 and 5,8 degrees centigrade over 1990, as the greenhouse gas volumes have doubled or quadrupled since the pre-industrial era . According to the scenarios of the IPCC, the sea level would rise by at 9 88 centimeters.

But over the past five years, scientists' predictions have become more refined: "People are starting to realize that the high end of estimates is out of the realm of possibility," said Chris Jones, researcher at Hadley Center, where the conference is being held. Exeter. "In fact, it is now almost accepted that these climate changes are already visible," adds the British researcher.

"By the middle of the century, heat waves like 2003 in Europe will be the norm, and before the end of the century, 2003 will probably be seen as a cold summer," said Chris Jones.

The most recent works, some of which will be presented in Exeter, suggest that the countdown is ticking faster than expected. According to one study, there is barely fifteen years to ensure that pollution from carbon dioxide to stabilize by the end of the century 550 parts per million (ppm), twice the level of the pre-industrial era.

Even stabilized at this level, emissions CO2 result in a temperature increase of between 2 and 11 °, with, in the high hypothesis, dramatic climate changes: melting glaciers and part of the ice cap, flooding, hurricanes in the chain ...

source: Yahoo News


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