“Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the desirable”

12/01/2014 - In time with this year’s UN climate conference in Lima, a group of leading scientists, including Earth League members– a global alliance of prominent climate scientists –laid out in a joint paper the key elements of the ‘the necessary, the possible and the desirable’ in relation to climate change. Authors include Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Nick Stern of the London School of Economics, Peter Schlosser of Columbia University in New York City, and two scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: Wolfgang Lucht, co-chair of research domain Earth System Analysis, and director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.
“Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the desirable”
Shrinking ice: Alaska's Columbia Glacier descending into Prince William Sound. Stable from 1794 to 1980, it's loosing mass rapidlly since then (left: 1986, right: 2014). Photo: NASA

“We, as citizens with a strong engagement in Earth system science and socio-ecological dynamics, share the vision of a more equitable and prosperous future for the world, yet we also see threats to this future from shifts in climate and environmental processes," the scientists write. "Without collaborative action now, our shared Earth system may not be able to sustainably support a large proportion of humanity in the coming decades.” The authors concisely explain the high risks presented by cascading environmental vulnerabilities and positive feedback effects. They highlight that a transformation towards carbon-free energy systems is feasible, and would come with substantial benefits.

The paper, published in the journal Earth’s Future, was drafted following the Earth League Annual Workshop 2014:  A World Under 2-4 degrees Warming, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was one event in the first in a series of climate activities and projects organised by the Earth League that will continue in the coming year and beyond.


Article: Johan Rockström; Guy Brasseur; Brian Hoskins; Wolfgang Lucht; John Schellnhuber; Pavel Kabat; Nebojsa Nakicenovic; Peng Gong; Peter Schlosser; Maria Manez; April Humble; Nick Eyre; Peter Gleick; Rachel James; Andre Lucena; Omar Masera; Marcus Moench; Roberto Schaeffer; Sybil Seitzinger; Sander van der Leeuw; Bob Ward; Nicholas Stern; James Hurrell; Leena Srivastava; Jennifer Morgan; Carlos Nobre; Youba Sokona (2014): Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the
desirable. Earth's Future (online) [DOI: 10.1002/2014EF000280]

Weblink to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EF000280/pdf

Weblink to the Earth League: http://www.the-earth-league.org/

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