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Review: Warming target needs action now

Oct. 27, 2011 at 8:31 PM   |   Comments

MELBOURNE, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Climate scientists say decisive action is required this decade to stay below a global warming of 2 degrees, agreed to in Copenhagen in 2009 and Cancun in 2010.

A review by University of Melbourne and international scientists found the target of 44 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 is a feasible milestone for countries to meet the internationally agreed 2-degree Celsius (3.6 F) target.

However, Malte Meinshausen, from the university's School of Earth Sciences said, the world is currently at 48 billion tons, so reversing the growing emission trend this decade is vital.

"If the international community is serious about avoiding dangerous climate change, countries seem ill-advised by continuing to increase emissions, which they have done so in the last 10 years, which ultimately will lead to disastrous consequences later on," he said.

The review analyzed feasible emissions scenarios that included a mix of mitigation actions ranging from energy efficiency to carbon free technologies such as solar photovoltaic, wind and biomass, a university release said Thursday.

"By our calculations, the world needs to do more this decade, as otherwise the 2 degree target to avert serious effects of climate change is slipping out of reach," Meinshausen said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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