'Too late’ to stop climate change by cutting emissions
Last Updated: 2:02
Writing in a paper published earlier this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, entitled ‘Impacts of Climate Change’, geoscientist Dr Jasper Knight, from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and Dr Stephan Harrison from the University of Exeter, UK, stated: “At present, governments’ attempts to limit greenhouse gas emissions through carbon cap-and-trade schemes and to promote renewable and sustainable energy sources are probably too late to arrest the inevitable trend of global warming.”
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on extreme events and disasters and the forthcoming fifth assessment report, due in 2013, include more explicit statements of the role of Earth surface systems in responding to, and influencing, climate forcing.
“However, monitoring of the response of these systems to climate forcing requires decadal-scale data sets of instrumented basins and under different climatic regimes worldwide. This will require a considerable international science effort as well as commitment from national governments,” the authors said.
Knight and Harrison want governments to focus more on adaption policies because future impacts of global warming on land-surface stability and the sediment fluxes associated with soil erosion, river down-cutting and coastal erosion are relevant to sustainability, biodiversity and food security.
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