Earth League’s climate scientists issue stark statement to spur action on reducing carbon emissions

September 16th, 2013 by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Climate scientists who are members of Earth League (click image to expand)

Earth League climate scientists (click image to expand – image courtesy of Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College and Earth League)

Twelve members of the newly established Earth League – a global initiative of prominent climate scientists – have jointly published a stark statement two weeks prior to the launch of the first section of the latest IPCC’s report on climate change.

The scientists agree that “the body of evidence indicating that our civilisation has already caused significant global warming is overwhelming.”

In their concise report, they warn that if we continue on our current path of business-as-usual, devouring fossil fuels and excessively pumping out greenhouse-gases, we are on track to enter into a 4°Celsius warmer world this century.

“Moreover, powerful feedback processes that very likely will push the warming even higher could be irreversible.”

A cap of a 2° Celsius temperature rise was set by the international community as a safe guardrail, though even this was considered by many to have dangerous environmental and human consequences.

The report warns a 4° Celsius rise would drastically change our planet.

Certain coastlines and whole islands would be submerged by rising sea-levels, and more extreme heat waves will strike regions and provoke yield failures and the loss of lives.

“Although climate science only tells us what might happen and not what to do about it, we feel that inaction is unacceptable,” the scientists said.

“Nations go to war, implement mass vaccinations of their populations, and organise expensive insurance and security systems (such as anti-terror measures) to address much fainter threats. However, our societies seem to be willing to impose immense risks on future generations.”

Now, while some say that humanity could not cause a 4° Celsius warming by any conceivable means, others declare environmental defeat by maintaining that the international climate-policy goal of confining the planetary warming to less than 2 °Celsius is already a lost case.

Yet the scientists believe there is evidence that we can hold a 2° Celsius degrees line.

Technological advancements show we can realise the “Great Transformation” of global sustainability and research initiatives are rising to face this challenge.

However, the evidence demonstrates that the time frame to achieve this is rapidly shrinking.

Earth League members who signed the report:

 

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