Level of GHG emissions may be much higher than predicted
There are those who argue that it’s irresponsible or alarmist to argue that there will be any climate change effects beyond those cited by the IPCC. I wonder what they’ll make of this:
Worldwide economic growth has accelerated the level of greenhouse gas emissions to a dangerous threshold scientists had not expected for another decade, according to a leading Australian climate change expert.
Tim Flannery told Australian Broadcasting Corp. that an upcoming report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will contain new data showing that the level of climate-changing gases in the atmosphere has already reached critical levels …
… the data showed the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions had reached about 455 parts per million by mid-2005, well ahead of scientists’ previous calculations.
"We thought we’d be at that threshold within about a decade, that we had that much time," Flannery said. "I mean, that’s beyond the limits of projection, beyond the worst-case scenario as we thought of it in 2001," when the last major IPCC report was issued.
So is it "alarmist" when the science is so alarming? James Hansen, among others, has talked about us having a decade to start turning things around. If we’re a decade ahead of schedule, what does that mean?