Published October 1, 2008 09:13 AM

Met Office's bleak forecast on climate change

When it comes to climate change, the scientific evidence has to be at the core of any decision-making. Governments need to understand the consequences of choosing particular targets, but they also need to understand what will happen if targets are missed or if they cannot be agreed on by all countries. Failures could have far-reaching consequences.

The latest climate model projections from the Met Office Hadley Centre show clearly that such failures could have worrying and significant consequences for the world's climate. Even with large and early cuts in emissions, these projections indicate that temperatures are likely to rise to around 2C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. If action is delayed or is slow, then there is a significant risk of much larger increases in temperature. The uncertainties in the science mean that even if the most likely temperature rise is kept within reasonable limits, we cannot rule out the possibility of much larger increases. Adaptation strategies are therefore needed to deal with these less likely, but still real, possibilities.

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