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Top German scientist warns that climate change is accelerating

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Creative Commons License Photo credit: azrainman

Top German scientist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber warns that climate change is now happening much more quickly than anyone thought was possible.

In an interview with Saarbruecker Zeitung newspaper Schellnhuber, who heads the Potsdam Institute for Research on Global Warming Effects and acts as an adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on climate-change issues, said that "the threats posed by climate change are worse than those imagined by most governments."

"In nearly all areas, the developments are occurring more quickly than it has been assumed up until now. We are on our way to a destabilization of the world climate that has advanced much further than most people or their governments realize."

Schellnhuber points out that the Arctic ice is melting faster than previously expected and says that "the entire climate pattern at the North Poll has been disrupted to the extent of causing irreversible change."

The Arctic sea ice is melting more quickly than expected. There are also signs that the entire climate pattern at the North Poll has been disrupted to the extent of causing irreversible change.

For the Arctic, the global warming which has already occurred of 0.8 degrees Celsius has already stepped over the line, Schellnhuber said. If Greenland's ice cap melts completely, water levels will rise by seven meters (23 feet).

"The current coastline will no longer exist, and that includes Germany," he said.

Schellnhuber says that to be able to stop global warming the industrial countries need to decrease their emissions by 80-90% and that by 2020 "this process has to be well underway".

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I made this very first post on our website on September 11, 2008: http://westcoastclimateequity.org/?p=3 "According to James Hansen, if we allow the Earth’s landâ€based glaciers and ice sheets to melt, it will take many thousands of years for them to refreeze. However, to refreeze the floating polar ice would take only a fraction of that time. Whereas we have seen the stability of the polar ice decay in less than 60 years, it could refreeze again in a century or two â€â€ but only if we cause the CO2 level in our atmosphere to return to a level where this could take place. This level should be at 350 ppm or lower, preferable below 325 ppm. Put another way, we should bring the Earth’s temperature back down to where it was in the early 1950’s." Our belief is that, in addition to bring carbon emissions to zero by 2050, we must also find a way to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere. Any projects of this sort, with global impact, should be government-financed and carefully monitored. All measures we draw down CO2 must be capable of moderation and adjustment, or, if necessary, elimination. Adding huge amounts of iron to our oceans, for example, could create a dangerous runaway effect of a different kind. Thank you for the great contribution you're making to raise global consciousness

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