Yup, we\’re all gonna dieeeeee!
One of the world\’s leading climate scientists warns today that the EU and its international partners must urgently rethink targets for cutting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because of fears they have grossly underestimated the scale of the problem.
In a startling reappraisal of the threat, James Hansen, head of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, calls for a sharp reduction in C02 limits.
Hansen says the EU target of 550 parts per million of C02 – the most stringent in the world – should be slashed to 350ppm. He argues the cut is needed if "humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilisation developed". A final version of the paper Hansen co-authored with eight other climate scientists, is posted today on the Archive website. Instead of using theoretical models to estimate the sensitivity of the climate, his team turned to evidence from the Earth\’s history, which they say gives a much more accurate picture.
Interesting to note that 350 ppm is actually lower than the current concentration: we thus need to have negative carbon usage. Good luck with that on any short to medium term basis.
But the major point here is about climate sensitivity. How much temperature rise do we get from a doubling of CO2 levels? That in turn depends upon whether we have positive feedbacks or negative ones.
Well, OK, we know that we have both positive and negative: what\’s the overall effect though?
Hansen here is assuming highly positive feedbacks.
Other climate scientists are not so sure. Like James Annan for example. (I think that paper had a great deal of difficulty getting published. You\’ll need to scroll around those archives to get the full story).
Just a note to the gorbal wormening enthusiasts: we\’re supposed to be dealing with the scientific consensus, remember, not the results of one outlying paper that no one has had a chance to read yet.