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Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change


Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change

by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Wolfgang Cramer, Nebosja Nakicenovic, Tom Wigley and Gary Yohe

The Earth’s climate undoubtedly is changing. The impacts of climate change are already being observed in a variety of sectors and there is greater clarity that these changes are being caused by human activities, mainly through the release of greenhouse gases. Is this a threat to our civilization and, if yes, how can we avoid the danger by stabilizing the atmosphere? The ultimate objective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is to achieve stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. In 2005 the UK Government hosted the Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change Conference to take an in-depth look at the scientific issues associated with stabilizing atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. The conference posed three main questions:

1. What are the key impacts, for different regions and sectors, and for the world as a whole, of different levels of climate change?
2. What would such levels of climate change imply in terms of greenhouse gas stabilization concentrations, and what are the emission pathways required to achieve such levels?
3. What technological options are there for achieving stabilization of greenhouse gases at different stabilization concentrations in the atmosphere, taking into account costs and uncertainties?

This volume presents the most recent findings from leading international scientists that attended the conference. The topics addressed include critical thresholds and key vulnerabilities of the climate system, impacts on human and natural systems, socio-economic costs and benefits of emissions pathways, and technological options of meeting different stabilization levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change provides invaluable information for researchers in environmental science, climatology, and atmospheric chemistry, policy-makers in governments and environmental organizations, and scientists and engineers in industry.

Cambridge University Press
hard cover
50 colour figures
100 line diagrams
10 half-tones
25 tables
ISBN 0-521-86471-2

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