Global warming: passing the "tipping point"
Date: Sunday, February 12 2006
11 February 2006 10:57
Global warming: passing the 'tipping point' Our special investigation reveals that critical rise in world temperatures is now unavoidable
By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
Published: 11 February 2006
A crucial global warming "tipping point" for the Earth, highlighted
only last week by the British Government, has already been passed,
with devastating consequences.
Research commissioned by The Independent reveals that the
accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has now crossed a
threshold, set down by scientists from around the world at a
conference in Britain last year, beyond which really dangerous
climate change is likely to be unstoppable.
The implication is that some of global warming's worst predicted
effects, from destruction of ecosystems to increased hunger and water
shortages for billions of people, cannot now be avoided, whatever we
do. It gives considerable force to the contention by the green guru
Professor James Lovelock, put forward last month in The Independent,
that climate change is now past the point of no return.
The danger point we are now firmly on course for is a rise in global
mean temperatures to 2 degrees above the level before the Industrial
Revolution in the late 18th century.