Sunday, June 28, 2009

What really scares me

These excerpts are from the results of a conference last March, which produced a synthesis of 1400 peer-reviewed research papers about climate change impacts that have been published since the last IPCC findings:

"Furthermore, if temperature increases by 2°C or more, there is a risk that land ecosystems, including forests, may become a net source of carbon to
the atmosphere due to increases in respiration and in disturbances such
as fire. The loss of carbon-regulating services of forests would seriously
accelerate climate change16 (session 38), (Box 2)."

But, I KNOW, from what I can see with my own eyes, that this is happening well before an increase of 2 degrees C - in fact, it is happening, here and now.

So that leaves me with a couple of questions.

1. Are there other impacts in other places which are also being ignored or not documented - on a wide scale that do not just incorporate destruction of ecosystems on their own but also do not account for predictable feedback loops that will accelerate climate change?

2. If that is happening - undocumented effects on top of those that have been included in this report - then have we passed the tipping point where we cannot slow or stop warming and the consequent mass extinctions, unless we ceased emissions, 20 years or so ago?

The last sentence in this section (bold added) is key:

"Even with the most effective adaptation approaches, very large numbers
of species will not survive with unabated climate change (Key Message
2). To avoid a worsening extinction crisis, there is no alternative to rapid,
effective mitigation. In addition, investment in ex situ conservation –
that is, keeping organisms in captivity or maintaining seed banks - could
be made in the hope that these organisms, one day, can be released
back into the wild should a suitable climate be recovered86. At best,
however, ex situ measures will be feasible for only a few species. "

But I urge anyone to read the entire report here

1 comment:

  1. Spot on.

    One would think that any news outlet that was awake would take to that.

    Thanks for finding that


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