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FORESTS AND OCEANS DECLINE IN ABSORBING CARBON EMISSIONS

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Scientists have warned that global temperatures could rise by six degrees Celsius by the end of the century, four degrees higher than previously predicted and at a level that could wipe out species and cause widespread natural disasters.
  • In addition, the study by the Global Carbon Project (GCP) said on Wednesday, that the ability of the world's forests and oceans to absorb carbon emissions was declining.
  • The paper, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, comes in the run up to UN talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, aimed at crafting a pact to combat climate change from 2013.
  • It said pollution "continued to track the average of the most carbon-intensive family of scenarios" put forward by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • Professor Corinne Le Quéré, the lead author of the study from the British Antarctic Survey, said: "The projections of climate that have been made before are always based on scenarios of climate change, so they tell that if the emissions are such and such you get 2C, if they are such and such you get six or seven.
  • "What our study is doing is identifying that the trend in the CO2 emissions, particularly from fossil fuels in the past decades, is so large it is at the higher end of the emissions scenario and this is why I am saying that we are on the scenario for a 6C warming," she said.
  • Under the IPCC's most extreme scenario, the Earth's surface will warm by around four degrees Celsius by 2100 compared with 2000 - a rise consistent with a wipeout of species, widespread hunger, flooding, drought and homelessness.
  • The new report highlighted the situation in emerging economies, such as China and India, where emissions have more than doubled since 1990 and now emit more greenhouse gases than developed countries.
  • Sarah Clifton of Friends of the Earth said, "This is yet more evidence, if any more was needed, of a strong and fair deal at Copenhagen in December in order to help us reduce emissions and avoid catastrophic climate change.
  • "Politicians are hiding behind each other, no one wants to step up and take the action, and what we actually need to see is political leadership by the rich countries. We need emission reductions, commitments from the the rich countries of at least 40 per cent by 2020.
Source: The Agencies
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