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Sweltering Earth: Dangerous global warming awaits the planet in next forty years – report

Published time: May 09, 2012 02:36
Edited time: May 09, 2012 07:24
File image shows the most detailed set of composite images ever produced by NASA. (AFP Photo/Nasa)

File image shows the most detailed set of composite images ever produced by NASA. (AFP Photo/Nasa)

Rising carbon dioxide levels will most likely cause the global average temperature to rise two degrees by 2052, the Club of Rome think tank has said in a report.

Failure to come up with a coordinated solution to address the issue of global warming will lead to a dangerous warming of the Earth’s climate, the report published by Norwegian academic Jorgen Randers says. The paper, titled “2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years” even raises the possibility that humankind might not survive if it continues on its path of over-consumption and short-termism.

With the world population predicted to reach a peak level of 8.1 billion by 2042, global consumption and demand will only be growing, causing even more greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

Most of the population surge is set to take place in developing nations. In fact, Randers predicts that the economies of developing countries such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa will continue to grow, while those of the United States and Europe, on the other hand, will likely stagnate.

This growth will improve living standards for many, but it will come at a cost for the global climate,” Randers noted, as quoted by Reuters.

Despite the predicted economic surge of third world nations, the report also states that the poor will still number around 3 billion in 2052.

One of the main conclusions of the report was that governments would be unsuccessful in their attempts to mitigate or prevent global warming.

We need a system of governance that takes a more long-term view,” Randers said “It is unlikely that governments will pass necessary regulation to force the markets to allocate more money into climate friendly solutions, and must not assume that markets will work for the benefit of humankind.

Randers’ prediction of a two-degree rise of average global temperature echoed earlier findings of the University of Oxford and Princeton University that global warming was likely to be between 1.4 and three degrees by 2050.

Randers was one of the authors of “Limits to Growth”, a seminal book that made the Club of Rome famous back in 1972. The book stated that if the then present trends of industrial change, pollution, consumption and resource depletion were to continue, the world would reach its limits of economic growth and would move into “overshoot”, specifically that the world would become unsustainable.

The Club of Rome, a think tank that was founded in the Italian capital but is currently headquartered in the Swiss city of Winterthur, includes current and former world leaders, UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians, diplomats, scientists and business leaders from around the world.

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