Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 18 July 2010
If global temperatures rise, fuelled by carbon-dioxide emissions, there will be long-term consequences in rainfall, crop production and wildfires, according to a new report issued Friday by the National Research Council, a non-profit group that provides science-policy advice to the government.
Friday’s report, put out by a panel of scientists from government agencies and academic institutions, attempts to quantify the potential impact of temperature change on the environment. Carbon dioxide is the dominant gas linked to climate change and is known to linger in the environment. Not all scientists agree that man-made emissions are fueling a warming of the climate, but many are concerned about what carbon-dioxide output now could mean into the future.
The report estimates that for every one degree increase in global temperature, rainfall would rise or fall 5% to 10%, in different regions around the world, corn crops would be reduced by that same amount and the amount of area burned by wildfires will increase two to fourfold.
In order to stabilize the amount of carbon in the environment, emissions need to be reduced more than 80% from peak levels, the group calculates. But even if the level was stabilized today, global temperature likely would increase by roughly two degrees from the carbon dioxide already in existence, according to Susan Solomon, chairwoman of the committee that wrote the report and a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
By: Shirley Wang
Source: Wall Street Journal