Global Warming: "Three Times Faster than Worst Prediction"
As reported in yesterday's edition of The Independent, a series of stunning and worrisome studies has just shown that global warming is accelerating three times more rapidly than initially feared. The rate of increase of greenhouse gas emissions has tripled since the 1990s, the Arctic ice caps are melting three times as fast, and the oceans are rising twice as fast as had been originally forecast.
The study authored by Michael Raupach of the Global Carbon Project at CSIRO and a team of international scientists concluded that carbon dioxide emissions "have been accelerating at a global scale, with their growth rate increasing from 1.1% y-1 for 1990-1999 to >3% y-1 for 2000-2004." Furthermore, they determined that the growth rate in emissions experienced its fastest and largest increase in rapidly developing economies such as China's (accounting for "80% of the world's population"), which together contributed to "73% of global emissions growth in 2004 but only 41% of global emissions and only 23% of global cumulative emissions since the mid-18th century." This indicates, however, that developed countries, while only accounting for less than a sixth of the world's population, still produce over two-thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions. This dramatic increase is much faster than even the worst-case scenario put forth by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in last year's report and casts a bleak outlook on the group's already dire predictions of dwindling water supplies, poor harvests, melting ice and loss of biodiversity.
Another study conducted by the University of California's National Snow and Ice Data Center showed that the Arctic ice had decreased by 7.8% a decade over the past 50 years. This again was in sharp contrast to IPCC computer models, which estimated the loss in ice cover at approximately 2.5% a decade.
See also: ::Bad News: Climate Change Faster Than Expected, ::Carbon Sink Weakened 15% Per Decade, ::The 4 Stages of Global Warming Denial, ::Two Views on the Effects of Global Warming, ::Speaking Out on Global Warming