More than 2,500 researchers and economists attended this meeting designed to update the world on the state of climate research ahead of key political negotiations set for December this year.Think of the U-Haul hijackings!
New data was presented in Copenhagen on sea level rise, which indicated that the best estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made two years ago were woefully out of date. . . .
Scientists heard that waters could rise by over a metre across the world with huge impacts for hundreds of millions of people.
There was also new information on how the Amazon rainforest would cope with rising temperatures. A UK Meteorological Office study concluded there would be a 75% loss of tree cover if the world warmed by three degrees for a century.
The scientists hope that their conclusions will remove any excuses from the political process. . . .
The meeting was also addressed by Lord Stern, the economist, whose landmark review of the economics of climate change published in 2006 highlighted the severe cost to the world of doing nothing.
He now says the report underestimated the scale of the risks, and the speed at which the planet is warming. . . .
He said that if the world was to warm by 5C over the next century, there would be dramatic consequences for millions of people. Rising seas would make many areas uninhabitable leading to mass migrations and inevitably sparking violent conflict.
"You'd see hundreds of millions people, probably billions of people who would have to move and we know that would cause conflict, so we would see a very extended period of conflict around the world, decades or centuries as hundreds of millions of people move, " said Lord Stern.
He said that a new, effective global deal was desperately needed to avoid these dramatic scenarios - and the current global economic slowdown was in some ways a help.Under the gentle direction, of course, of the EUSSR.
"Action is rather attractive, inaction is inexcusable. It's an opportunity, given that resources will be cheaper now than in the future, now is the time to get the unemployed of Europe working on energy efficiency."
Update: Brussels Journal (yes I know they're nazis) has a good roundup of the AGW-skeptical second International Conference on Climate Change in New York this week. One quote:
[Czech] President [Vaclav] Klaus said he chided Davos attendees for talking up radical proposals when they hadn't even been able to fulfill their modest Kyoto commitments. But trying to reason with the Davos people was like trying to reason with Communist officials before 1989 -- they just regarded you as hopelessly ignorant or naive. Klaus described the business attendees at the Davos meeting as "rent seekers," interested only in profits from government and "not at all interested in markets or freedom." The political situation, he said, is that of a highly organized rent-seeking group rolling over an opposition of isolated unorganized individuals.Love dat man.
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