Climate changing faster than predicted

Nov. 14, 2007 at 7:46 PM

MELBOURNE, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Temperatures and greenhouse gas pollution are rising faster in the world than previously forecast, a report in Australia said.

The Melbourne University study, commissioned by The Climate Institute, said carbon dioxide emissions are increasing faster than expected, and if the trend continues it will lead to a temperature rise of about 3 degrees C by the end of the century.

Greenhouse gas emissions have increased from 1.1 percent per year for 1990-1999 to more than 3 percent per year for 2000-2004, exceeding the fossil fuel emissions scenarios used by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change.

The rapid decrease in sea ice in the Arctic Ocean showed that an ice-free Arctic could occur much earlier than 2050-2100 as previously thought, the study said.

Climate Institute spokesman John Connor told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the prediction of dangerous temperature rises were alarming for Australia.

"It will see increased droughts, wildfires affecting our capital cities and it will also put at risk the Greenland ice sheet and some of the Antarctic ice sheets which are the real 'biggies' in terms of sea-level rises if they slip into the oceans," he said.

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