Global warming is accelerating three times more quickly than feared, a series of startling, authoritative studies has revealed.
They have found that emissions of carbon dioxide have been rising at thrice the rate in the 1990s. The Arctic ice cap is melting three times as fast – and the seas are rising twice as rapidly – as had been predicted.
News of the studies – which are bound to lead to calls for even tougher anti-pollution measures than have yet been contemplated – comes as the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations prepare for the most crucial meeting yet on tackling climate change.
The issue will be top of the agenda of the G8 summit which opens in the German Baltic resort of Heiligendamm on Wednesday, placing unprecedented pressure on President George Bush finally to agree to international measures.
Tony Blair flies to
Yesterday, there were violent clashes in the city
The study, published by the US National Academy of Sciences, shows that carbon dioxide emissions have been increasing by about 3 per cent a year during this decade, compared with 1.1 per cent a year in the 1990s.
The significance is that this is much faster than even the highest scenario outlined in this year’s massive reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – and suggests that their dire forecasts of devastating harvests, dwindling water supplies, melting ice and loss of species are likely to be understating the threat facing the world.
The study found that nearly three-quarters of the growth in emissions came from developing countries, with a particularly rapid rise in
On the ground, a study by the
In yesterday’s clashes, masked protesters hurled flagpoles, stones and bottles and attacked with sticks forcing police to retreat. The police said they were suffering “massive assaults” and that the situation was “very chaotic”. They put the size of the demonstration at 25,000; organisers said it was 80,000.