Current global consumption levels could result in a large-scale ecosystem collapse by the middle of the century, environmental group WWF has warned.The Guardian reports on NASA scientests warning that Earth's temperature is dangerously high:
The group's biannual Living Planet Report said the natural world was being degraded "at a rate unprecedented in human history".
Terrestrial species had declined by 31% between 1970-2003, the findings showed.
It warned that if demand continued at the current rate, two planets would be needed to meet global demand by 2050.
The biodiversity loss was a result of resources being consumed faster than the planet could replace them, the authors said.
Earth's temperature could be reaching its highest level in a million years, American scientists said yesterday.Also from NASA, we have only a decade left to act in time:
Researchers at Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies said a further one degree celsius rise in the global temperature could be critical to the planet, and there was already a threat of extreme weather resulting from El Niño.
The scientists said that in the 30 years to the end of 2005, temperatures increased at the rate of 0. 2 degrees per decade, a rate they described as "remarkably rapid".
Comparison of the current global temperature with estimates of historical temperatures - based on a study of ocean sediment - showed the current temperature was now within 1C of the maximum temperature of the past million years.
Dr James Hansen, who led the study, said further global warming of just 1C could lead to big changes to the planet.
"If warming is kept less than that, effects of global warming may be relatively manageable," he said.
"But if further global warming reaches two or three degrees celsius, we will likely see changes that make Earth a different planet [to] the one we know.
"The last time it was that warm was in the middle Pliocene, about 3m years ago, when sea level was estimated to have been about 25 meters (80 feet) higher than today."
‘We have a very brief window of opportunity,’ NASA scientist says
A leading U.S. climate researcher says the world has a 10-year window of opportunity to take decisive action on global warming and avert catastrophe.
NASA scientist James Hansen, widely considered the doyen of American climate researchers, said governments must adopt an alternative scenario to keep carbon dioxide emission growth in check and limit the increase in global temperatures to 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
“I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change ... no longer than a decade, at the most,” Hansen said Wednesday at the Climate Change Research Conference in California’s state capital.
If the world continues with a “business as usual” scenario, Hansen said temperatures will rise by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 7.2 degrees F) and “we will be producing a different planet.”
On that warmer planet, ice sheets would melt quickly, causing a rise in sea levels that would put most of Manhattan under water. The world would see more prolonged droughts and heat waves, powerful hurricanes in new areas and the likely extinction of 50 percent of species.