Brief: September 28, 2009 – Representatives from 190 nations meeting to discuss climate change in Bangkok this week have some new food for thought, with the latest report on climate change from the UK predicting much faster temperature rises than previously forecast.

The Guardian newspaper reports that a study, prepared for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change by scientists at the British Met Office, or meteorological service, warns that without strong action on climate change we could see a catastrophic 4 degree rise in temperature by 2060.

According to scientists who prepared the report, a 4 degree rise in temperature could threaten the water supply of over half the world’s population, destroy half the world’s animal and plant species and flood coastlines.

The temperature rise would be even higher in some areas – up to 10 degrees in the Arctic and western and southern Africa, the report says.

The study updates the findings of the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which predicted at 4 degree temperature rise by 2100 if emissions continued to rise.

According to the Guardian report, The Met Office scientists used new versions of the computer models used to set the IPCC predictions, updated to include carbon feedbacks, which occur when warmer temperatures release more carbon, such as from soils.

lblundell@thefifthestate.com.au

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