GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE — PRECURSORS planetary catastrophe?

09.01.2011

In connection with the outcome of the UN Climate Conference expert agency REX Areg Dyushunts tried to make sense of how many years we have left — five or less …


At the very end of the year in Cancun (Mexico) unexpectedly successfully completed the UN Climate Conference. Both directions of negotiations — the Kyoto Protocol and on long-term cooperation — ran effectively, but the major papers could be made after the official end of the forum. As you know, the previous round with top officials ended in failure, and therefore the climate experts around the world especially hoping for success this time. The conference confirmed the main goal of the human community to influence the climate process — to prevent the rise in average temperature on Earth in 2050 is higher than 2 degrees Celsius.

Apparently, the changes in the world climate, and natural and man-made disasters seriously alarmed scientists, forcing to take this decision. Moreover, that confirmed the predictions made five years ago, and the world has no more time left to take decisive action against global warming and prevent dangerous climate change. Even then, the view of the majority of climate researchers agree that these actions must be expressed in limiting carbon dioxide emissions, otherwise the Earth is waiting for the flooding of coastal cities and the disappearance of half of the species.

Period of ten years, the remainder of the world to do this, then identified one of America's leading climate researchers, James Hansen, who led the research institute Goddard Institute for Space Studies at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), speaking at a similar conference devoted to the study of climate change. "Droughts and heat waves will last longer, there will be new sources of powerful hurricanes and may disappear about half of the species now existing." According to Hansen, the government should take measures to limit carbon dioxide emissions, and do not let the average air temperature to rise by more than 1 degree Celsius. "I think we are left with a very short period of time, during which we can deal with climate change … no longer than ten years, this is the maximum." If countries continue to exist on the principle of silencing the problems, the average global temperature could rise by 2-3 degrees Celsius, and "we'll get another planet," said Hansen. On this planet warmer glaciers will melt quickly, leading to a rise in sea level, resulting in a large part of New York may be under water. Droughts and heat waves will last longer, there will be new sources of powerful hurricanes and may disappear about half of currently existing species.

In recent times, as opposed to frequently expressed the view that the degree of influence on the climate of the people does not exceed 2%, and therefore, the remaining 98% change factors or impossible to explain or relate solely to the "competence" of nature, without regard to human activities. As they point out, humanity can really influence the weather only by creating the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, and he is just one of the reasons for the predicted global warming. The question at issue is certainly a fact that a minimal effect can lead to disastrous consequences, therefore, you should try to reduce the negative impact of human activity on nature to a minimum.

That's just not able or fulfill their obligations increased the participants in terms of their impact on society to maintain the temperature, it becomes clear, perhaps, only in 2050. Today, everyone is concerned about how to rationally explain what is going on with nature now? And this is a complete lack of clarity as to the points of view it is not less than the professionals involved in this issue. In only one of their views on the conclusions are the same, that can also be characterized only one phrase: "something just happens." And the Internet is increasingly filled with publications, where the various opinions in this regard, but they too eventually boil down to the same thing: scientists do not know what's going on with the planet, and therefore, can not be reasonably likely to predict the course of events the near future.

This has the distinct advantage of catastrophes Research Center (CRED), which is unique and statistics of natural disasters on our planet. And visually perceived, being displayed in the graphs of accidents and fatalities from 1900 to 2009, coinciding with the data of the Swiss insurance group Swiss Re, for which the number of victims of natural disasters in the world in 2010 reached a record figure of 260 thousand people. And this is the highest level since 1976, 17 times more than in 2009. In Russia, the "excess" deaths for July-August totaled 55,736 people.

The infamous top list of "Holocaust 2010" Russia with record heat caused by an anticyclone, which hung over the region from mid-June until late August, is one of the first places. Yet the most devastating on the results was the earthquake in Haiti (more than 220 thousand deaths). Also the most devastating disasters, the statistics are hurricanes in Central America, floods in China, India, Pakistan, the eruption of a volcano in Indonesia.

Everyone is now clear that the avalanche growth of natural disasters — the problem is far beyond the scope of a purely scientific discussion. Those who washes, sweeps, shakes, fries and freezes every year more and more, can no longer hold the hypothetical predictions of warming in the decades ahead. On such a background the success of Cancun seem but idle theorizing, not too far from reality. People also want to know, no surprises, and even more trouble, wait for them in the near future on the weather. But it is with forecasting the whims of nature in the world in general and in Russia in particular, the situation is not brilliant. In any case, interviewed foreign and domestic experts do not make such predictions, which could be considered as the most probable. Forecasters Hydromet hard only in the fact that there is no way to accurately predict the weather for more than three days. But even at this time, what had no time to make sure we predict risky. Especially as it applies to this case, as long-term strategic forecasts. Not for nothing did the last published paper on the topic is available in the public domain in RuNet, dates from 2005. To his drawing RosHydromet attracted apparently all possible resources, it contains a detailed analysis of possible situations with recommendations for countermeasures. There's only one, which is the most important in forecasting — specifics. But it is a problem not only for Russian scientists.

About this time was published and widely known record of what the world is on the verge of a climate catastrophe, and made a conclusion, a special committee formed of scientists, politicians and businessmen on the initiative of the UK Government. She also came to the conclusion that in ten years or less, due to the rate of pollution in the world to start a global catastrophe.

Commission report entitled "In the face of climate change" was intended primarily for people who influence decision-making in all areas of life, especially the heads of state. For the first time in a document of this level has been called the critical exponent of the parameters of global warming — as a temperature value, with the achievement of a specified point of bifurcation of the world will begin irreversible changes. The consequences of this may be the most tragic: large-scale agricultural problems, water scarcity, droughts, increased incidence, rising sea levels, deforestation, and this is not an exhaustive list. Increase the number and other disasters, the same rapid global warming will lead to a complete melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the disappearance of the Gulf Stream. Further only the planetary ecological disaster that threatens the existence of the human race … In this regard, Stephen Byers, the former transport minister, who headed the commission, said: "This is an ecological time bomb with the included timer."

The report called on the "Big Eight" in 2025 to increase research costs of low-carbon technologies by 2010 half. The committee advised the leaders of those countries to agree to a quarter of their total electricity produced from renewable sources, considering that it is necessary to form a group on climate issues, which should enter and developing countries, especially India and China, where growing emissions of carbon dioxide .

It was then that scientists call critical figure — a temperature increase of 2 ° C, and compared with 1750. This year has been taken as a starting point, precisely because it began with the industrial revolution, a remarkable fact that while human activity first began to have a negative impact on the climate. The average global temperature has since been increased by 0,8 ° C, and all continued to grow, and the critical point separates the world of no more than 1 ° C. In addition, no less ominous sound and data on the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a certain level of saturation of the temperature increase of 2 ° C is inevitable — it's 400 millionth volume fraction. And the amount of this gas in the air is 379 shares, each year it rises as expected, another 2. Thus, the level of 400 ppmv will be reached by 2015, if not earlier.

In a world of huge amounts of money being spent on the study of the Earth. This ground stations and orbiters. Monitoring is the Earth from orbit ahead of the rest are Europeans. The European Space Agency (ESA) operates with a whole set of tools for different purposes, and each of them in varying degrees, can work on the prediction of climate change and weather forecasts. Grouping orbiter sends back to Earth more than 100 terabytes of data per year, three thousand projects use this data for their own purposes in the world. Of the total budget of ESA to 3,744.7 million euros 18.9%, the biggest part of the budget is spent on the study of the planet from space. Under the direction of its Center for Earth Observation (ESRIN) is as many as seven operational satellites and the same is planned to start.

However, all these impressive features only cause confusion irritant, forcing ask a reasonable question: how at such volumes of information and resources involved scientists just shrug when exact prediction even for a short period of time? Maybe addressable information does not reach professionals who are able to help? After all, in ESRIN claim that these satellites are operated by operators of projects that they are distributed to interested individuals and organizations. It should be understood to mean that the data is there, but their widespread use is often hampered by financial or political complications. To justify the Center emphasize that the data on the program GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) will be (with some restrictions) in the public domain. And when? The main tool of the program — the devices Sentinel (five satellites) — preparing to start in 2012-2014. Well, we can only wait …

Maybe not worth the wait? Otherwise, you can wait for a very different — trouble. After all, it would seem, who today do not know that the problem of climate prediction and global disasters, without exception? And no country, no matter how strong she was, at the moment not able to cover in terms of research and forecasts, the full range of climate issues and threats? And it turns out that even standing on the threshold of a major crisis, countries and organizations can not even agree on much less sensitive issues, rather than a costly exchange of information. As can be clearly seen just as an example of climate conferences, where decisions are taken, and if, the more reluctantly, creak. And the authorities of other countries generally distance themselves from the environmental and climate change, hoping either in Russian for "maybe", or the fact that their age will suffice. Therefore the value of Cancun lies in the fact that it showed that even they began to reflect. However, the world has not yet realized the severity of future natural anomalies. It remains to do but wait — some events that will bring us to the next two years …

In writing this article draws "NG-Online" «In our age is not enough — The world has not yet realized the severity of future natural disturbances" of 2010-12-22.

Areg Dyushunts

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