Urgent C02 cuts needed, experts urge

2013-01-14 14:33
(File)

(File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Climate Change
    Read more about the environmental changes and challenges the world faces. Now R261.00
    buy now

Paris - Tens of millions of people may be spared droughts and floods by 2050 if Earth-warming carbon emissions peak in 2016 rather than 2030, scientists said on Sunday.

Climate researchers in Britain and Germany said emission cuts now would delay some crippling impacts by decades and prevent some altogether.

By 2050, an Earth heading for warming of 2°C - 2.5°C by 2100 could have two very different faces, depending on the route taken to get there, said their study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Policies that cap Earth-warming carbon emissions in 2016 and then reduce them by 5% per year could see between 39 and 68 million people spared exposure to a higher risk of water shortages by 2050, said Nigel Arnell of the University of Reading.

This is the best-case scenario, though.

Emissions curbs

In contrast, if emissions peak in 2030 and fall by 5% annually, the number who escape this risk drops to between 17 and 48 million.

Similarly, about 100 - 161 million people would avoid a higher risk of river flooding on the 2016-peak scenario.
This compares to 52 - 120 million people if emissions peak 14 years later, said Arnell, director of the university's Walker Institute on climate change.

"Basically in 2050, the 2030-peaking policy has about half to two-thirds of the benefit than the best (2016) policy," even though both lead to a similar temperature peak of about 2°C - 2.5°C by 2100, he said.

"You may hit the same temperature point at the end of the century but... the mayhem that's been caused on the way to that point is different under the different pathways."

Under a scenario without any emissions curbs, temperatures could rise as much as 4°C - 5.5°C, said the new paper which claimed to be the broadest assessment yet of the benefits of avoiding climate change impacts.

Global average warming of 4°C would see almost a billion people have less water in 2100 than they have now, and 330 million will be at greater risk of river flooding, Arnell told a pre-release press conference.

A peak in 2016 seems unlikely, with the world's nations aiming to adopt a new global climate pact by 2015 for entry into force only five years later.

The latest round of UN climate talks that concluded in Doha, Qatar in December failed to set pre-2020 emissions cuts for countries that have not signed up to the Kyoto Protocol that seeks to curb warming, even as scientists warned the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere continues to rise.

Three of the world's four biggest polluters -China, the United States and India- are among those with no binding emission limits, which cover countries responsible for only about 15% of the world's carbon pollution.

Many scientists believe that Earth is set for warming that will be far above the United Nations' 2°C target on pre-industrial levels.

"Reducing greenhouse gas emissions won't avoid the impacts of climate change altogether of course, but our research shows it will buy time to make things like buildings, transport systems and agriculture more resilient to climate change," said Arnell.

Read more on:    climate change
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.