Climate change may have already passed the point of no return despite earlier predictions to the contrary, according to scientist Dr Tim Flannery of Macquarie University in Australia.
A UN climate change report out next month (Nov 16th 2007) will show that greenhouse gases have reached dangerous levels, with emissions more likely to cause irreversible climate change, Dr Flannery warned. Greenhouse gas in the atmosphere reached 455 parts per million of carbon dioxide in 2005, the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will show. It had not been expected to reach this level for a decade.
He said: ‘What the report establishes is that the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is already above the threshold that could potentially cause dangerous climate change.’
He claims global economic expansion, particularly in China and India, was a major cause of the unexpected acceleration in emissions because of their heavy reliance on fossil fuels.
Climate change talks in Indonesia in December should focus on preserving rainforests there and in Brazil and Papua New Guinea, as reducing emissions might no longer be enough to prevent climate change.