05 Aug 2008 05:08:19
NEF: 100 months to climate change tipping point
In 100 months time, the irreversible tipping point of climate change will be reached after which the Earth's climate will change irrevocable with potentially dire circumstances, researchers claim.
The New Economics Foundation has arrived at the figure of 100 months by taking current carbon levels and calculating global carbon emissions into the future until the greenhouse effect raises the earth's surface temperature by 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.
At that point, the thinktank policy director Andrew Simms claims change to the earths climate systems will be out of human hands.
To avoid reaching that tipping point he urges taking steps to make the energy system carbon free.
He suggests decentralising energy, investing in renewables, ensuring energy efficiency and conservation and managing demand.
In household terms this could mean, ensuring homes are insulated, draught-proof and using energy efficient equipment and microgeneration.
And, as transport is the biggest carbon contributor, avoiding the tipping point may require more sparing use of private cars.