On the day that Tony Blair hosts a crisis Downing Street summit to address what he calls “the major long-term threat facing our planet”, there is more bad news for the climate.
The Guardian reports how “the Earth’s temperature could rise under the impact of global warming to levels far higher than previously predicted, according to the United Nations’ team of climate experts”.
According to a draft of the influential UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, scientists are now unable to place a reliable upper limit on how quickly the atmosphere will warm as carbon dioxide levels increase. The Guardian says that the draft now assumes that a doubling of carbon dioxide would cause a likely temperature rise of between 2 and 4.5C, but says higher increases are possible. It is the higher rises that are really worrying the scientists.
Meanwhile The Independent leads on how the British Defence Secretary John Reid, warned last night how the world faces increasing conflict over water shortages, exacerbated by climate change. “As we look beyond the next decade, we see uncertainty growing; uncertainty about the geopolitical and human consequences of climate change”, said Reid.
“Impacts such as flooding, melting permafrost and desertification could lead to loss of agricultural land, poisoning of water supplies and destruction of economic infrastructure” the Defence Secretary continued. “More than 300 million people in Africa currently lack access to safe water; climate change will worsen this dire situation.”
Anyone got any good news for a change?