Climate Change

Copenhagen Diagnosis : Statements by Authors

Climate change is accelerating beyond expectations

Témoignages.re / 26 November 2009

Carbon dioxide emissions cannot be allowed to continue to rise if humanity intends to limit the risk of unacceptable climate change. CO2 levels are higher now than they have ever been during the last 800,000 years: those are statements from anthors of The Copenhagen Diagnosis. Read more...

"Sea level is rising much faster and Arctic sea ice cover shrinking more rapidly than we previously expected. Unfortunately, the data now show us that we have underesti­mated the climate crisis in the past."

Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, Professor of Physics of the Oceans and a Department Head at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

"Carbon dioxide emissions cannot be allowed to continue to rise if humanity intends to limit the risk of unacceptable climate change. The task is urgent and the turning point must come soon. If we are to avoid more than 2 degrees Celsius warming, which many countries have already accepted as a goal, then emissions need to peak before 2020 and then decline rapidly."

Professor Richard Somerville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA.

"We have already almost exceeded the safe level of emissions that would ensure a reasonably secure climate future. Within just a decade global emissions need to be declining rapidly. A binding treaty is needed urgently to ensure unilateral action among the high emitters."

Professor Matthew England, ARC Federation Fellow and joint Director of the Climate Change Research Centre of the University of NSW, Australia.

"This is a final scientific call for the climate negotiators from 192 countries who must embark on the climate protection train in Copenhagen. They need to know the stark truth about global warming and the unprecedented risks involved."

Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU).

"The adjustment of glaciers to present climate alone is expected to raise sea level by approximately 18 centimeters. Under warming conditions glaciers may contribute as much as more than half a meter by 2100.”

Dr. Georg Kaser, Glaciologist at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

“Warming of the oceans and increased uptake of CO2 is of increasing concern for the marine environment. The loss of biodiversity due to upper ocean warming, ocean acidification and ocean de-oxygenation will add dramatically to the existing threads of overfishing and marine pollution".

Professor Martin Visbeck, Professor of Physical Oceanography and Deputy Director of IFM-GEOMAR.

"The climate system does not provide us with a silver bullet. There is no escape but to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible."

Professor Nicolas Gruber, Professor for Environmental Physics, ETH Zürich.

"Climate change is coming out even clearer and more rapidly in the recent data. The human contribution is not in doubt."

Professor Corinne Le Quéré, University of East Anglia School of Environmental Sciences, UK

"Climate change is accelerating towards the tipping points for polar ice sheets. That’s why we’re now projecting future sea level rise in metres rather than centimeters."
Professor Tim Lenton, University of East Anglia School of Environmental Sciences, UK

"Reducing tropical deforestation could prevent up to a fifth of human CO2 emissions, slowing climate change and helping to maintain some of the planet’s most important hotspots of biodiversity."

Professor Peter Cox, Climate System Dynamics at the University of Exeter, UK

"New ice-core records confirm the importance of greenhouse gasses for past temperatures on Earth, and show that CO2 levels are higher now than they have ever been during the last 800,000 years. The last time Earth experienced CO2 levels this high was millions of years ago."

Professor Jane Francis, University of Leeds, UK

"The reconstruction of past climate reveals that recent warming in the Arctic and in the Northern Hemisphere is highly inconsistent with natural climate variability over the last 2000 years."

Dr Alan Haywood, Reader in Paleoclimatology, the University of Leeds, UK


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