Flannery sets deadline to save world – Environment – Specials – smh.com.au

Flannery sets deadline to save world

By Edmund Tadros
January 17, 2006 – 11:13AM

Australian scientist Tim Flannery said the world still had ‘one to two decades’ to take action to reduce global warming, despite one of Britain’s best-known environmentalists warning that the world has already passed the point of no return on global warming.

In what The Independent described as the bleakest assessment yet of the effects of climate change by a leading scientist, Professor James Lovelock said billions would die by the end of the century, and civilisation as we know it would be unlikely to survive.

But Dr Flannery believes there is still time to turn the situation around.

‘We have set change in motion and that change will take about 100 to 200 years to wash its way through the system – even if we stopped greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow,’ said Dr Flannery, who is director of the South Australian Museum and author of climate book The Weather Makers.

‘I don’t think we’ve yet reached that point where we are tipping the world’s climate into a new regime.

‘We’ve got maybe one to two decades to address the issue.’

Dr Flannery’s comments are based on his own studies and he is now reviewing Professor Lovelock’s research.

But he warned that there had already been significant changes to the world’s climate.

‘We’ve already raised the temperature of the planet by between 0.6 or 0.7 of a degree,’ he said.

‘That’s had a large impact in terms of rainfall patterns worldwide, breeding patterns of species, [their] migration and distribution, and of course it initiated the melting of the north polar icecaps.’

And if this global warming continues, Dr Flannery has equally c”






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