photo: Tim via flickr
Scientists speaking at panels on climate change are generally rather circumscribed in their statements, speaking to the science itself and not their reaction to it. As a glimpse behind that veil, Reuters is running a piece which compiles the personal views of scientists on where we stand on combatting global warming:It's Likely That We Will Overshoot 2°C Temperature Rise, Scientists Say
Of the 11 scientists asked (yes, I know not statistically representative of all scientists), 10 of them thought it was likely that we'd overshoot the critical threshold of 2°C rise in temperatures, after which the effects on ecosystems and human populations become very, very serious.
Nine of them also said that the evidence that human activity is the cause of climate change is even more clear than it was when the 2007 IPCC report was released.
The reason why we're heading towards overshoot? It's not technological; it's a lack of political will, Salemeel Huq of the International Institute for Environment and Development said.
One scientist, David Karoly of the University of Melbourne said that it would be "very unlikely" that temperature rise would be held to 2°C:
The concentration of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is already enough to cause warming of more than 2C above pre-industrial levels, and we are continuing to emit more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Artic Summer Sea Ice Gone in 10-30 Years
Other predictions made were: Six of the eleven scientists said that a new record for world average annual temperatures would be set by 2015, with four more saying that it would occur by 2020. Ten of the eleven scientists said that they thought Arctic summer sea ice would vanish by 2050, with two predicted that it could occur by 2020.
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