Report: Global Warming Precautions Must Be Taken Now

This isn't a happy story kids, but it's a reminder of the reason why TreeHugger is here. A recent report, Meeting The Climate Challenge (written by a task force of senior politicians, business leaders, and academics from the Institute for Public Policy Research in the U.K., the Center for American Progress in the U.S., and The Australia Institute), purports that the world has nearly reached its global-warming danger threshold. In as little as 10 years, perhaps even less, their report indicates, we may have reached the point of no return concerning global warming...

In case you weren't sure, the dangers of reaching that point include widespread agricultural failure, water shortages and major droughts*, increased disease, sea-level rise and the death of forests. Additional possibilities include "abrupt catastrophic events," such as "runaway global warming," which could include the melting West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, or the "switching-off" of the Gulf Stream. Oh really. Well, at least we know what we're in for. Anybody spare a boat?

After seriously committing to its scientific research, the report urges all the G8 countries to agree to generate a quarter of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and to double their research spending on low-carbon energy technologies by 2010. It also calls on the G8 to form a climate group with leading developing nations such as India and China, which have big and growing CO2 emissions. Generally, it's saying that what we do in the next 20 years is what's going to make a difference, waiting longer than that will have a devastating effect. So, to you, we say, Thanks for reading. Via Grist ::The Independent [by MO]

*Another recent report by the folks at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, determined that the portion of Earth suffering drought has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Rising temperatures caused by climate change are probably to blame. The team found little change between the 1870's and the 1970's, butsince then, the land experiencing very dry conditions began to rise from less than 15% in the early 70's to about 30% in 2002. Are you listening Mr. Bush? S.O.S.!Via ::Grist ::New Scientist