"An ecological time-bomb is ticking away. World leaders need to recognize that climate change is the single most important long term issue that the planet faces." said Stephen Byers, who co-chaired the task force with U.S. Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, and is a close confidant of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
What are projections for the next century?
- Average global temperature is expected to increase by 3 to 10 degree Fahrenheit
- Sea level should rise by between 3" to 35"
- An increase in some extreme weather events
- The Northern Hemisphere cover should decrease further, but the Antarctic ice sheet should increase
These predictions are based on a GreenFacts study on the future of global climate change
It is expected that emissions of certain greenhouse gases will have a lasting effect on the Earth even after the gas concentrations have stabilized. Global average temperatures would continue to increase but at a reduced rate.
Urgent action is needed to stop the global average temperature from rising by 2 degrees Celsius above the level in 1750 -- the approximate start of the Industrial Revolution when mankind first started significantly polluting the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, according to an independent report by the Institute for Public Policy Research and Britain and the Center for American Progress in The United States.
Beyond a rise of 2 degrees, "the risks to human societies and ecosystems grow significantly and there would be a risk of abrupt, accelerated, or runaway climate change." The report also warned of "climatic tipping points" such as the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets melting and the Gulf Stream shutting down.