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Can climate change get worse? It has

Source:  Copyright 2007, Age
Date:  May 22, 2007
Byline:  Liz Minchin
Original URL: Status ONLINE


The world is now on track to experience more catastrophic damages from climate change than in the worst-case scenario forecast by international experts, scientists have warned.

The research, published in a prestigious US science journal, shows that between 2000 and 2004 the rate of increase in global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels was three times greater than in the 1990s.

That is faster than even the worst-case scenario modelled by the world's leading scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, published over recent months, because the updated emissions figures were not available in time to be included.

The climbing emissions mean that average global temperatures are now on track to rise by more than four degrees this century - enough to thaw vast areas of arctic permafrost and leave about 3 billion people suffering from water shortages, including in Australia.

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