The Government's chief scientist today gave his starkest warning yet about the world's increasing carbon emissions saying that even the best-case scenario put millions of lives at risk by the end of the century.
Professor Sir David King said that a 3C rise in global temperatures is likely within 100 years, a process that will lead to a rise in sea levels and increase in desertification that will place 400 million people at the risk of hunger. Parts of Britain will be flooded as the UK comes under coastal attack.
Developing countries will be the hardest hit, with ecosystems failing to adapt and between 20 million to 400 million tonnes of cereal production being lost, according to Sir David.
He said the temperature rise would be the consequence of carbon dioxide levels of 500 parts per million, roughly double those of the Industrial Revolution. The current carbon dioxide concentration stands at 380 parts per million, already the highest levels likely to have been experienced on Earth for 740,000 years.
Sir David said that his grim prediction was based on an optimistic reading of the world's ability to control its carbon emissions. Many scientists believe emissions could rise to 550 million parts per million and even larger temperature rises.
Please notice that these predictions are based on optimism about how we control carbon emissions. Are you really optimistic in this regard? I certainly am not. Not about the role of the United States government.