IPCC報告 深刻な温暖化にどう備えるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun October 5, 2013
U.N. climate report notes urgency for steps against global warming
IPCC報告 深刻な温暖化にどう備えるか(10月4日付・読売社説)

The latest U.N. report on climate change, it can be said, has indicated anew the importance of measures against global warming.

The report was compiled by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) based on its latest scientific assessment of present and future global warming.

The report concluded it is extremely likely global warming is being caused by increased carbon dioxide emissions due to massive consumption of fossil fuels, such as oil and coal.

Unless adequate measures are taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the report predicted the average global temperature would likely rise by up to 4.8 C from the average for the two decades from 1986 to 2005. The report also warned of the high possibility that heat waves and heavy rain would occur more often around the world.

It also predicted sea levels could rise a maximum of 82 centimeters by the end of the century. Arctic sea ice is expected to be nonexistent in the summer in the not-so-distant future.

It may be said that the report painted an extremely serious vision for the future of the Earth.

The report is reviewed every five to six years. The latest one assigned human culpability for global warming in the strongest tone ever, saying there is a “more than 95 percent” possibility that global warming has been caused by human activities.

Reference has also been made to the phenomena already caused by global warming. The duration and frequency of heat waves have increased in Asia, Europe and Australia since 1950, according to the report.

Unusual phenomena reported

In Japan, this summer saw record rainfall and a series of tornadoes. As things stand at present, it is impossible to determine that global warming is responsible for such phenomena. But many people believe there have been abnormal climate changes.

The report’s predictions are uncertain. There are currently 195 countries represented in the IPCC, which calls for neutrality and fairness. However, its views are not unanimously shared in many areas. In the case of its previous report, inadequate handling of data emerged as a problem.

In the case of the latest report, its contents were made public while it was being drafted as part of procedural improvement measures. This indicated the IPCC’s efforts to regain public confidence.

If the most drastic measures are taken to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the report estimated it would be possible to limit the temperature increase to 0.3 C to 1.7 C at the end of this century. Effective measures must be taken as early as possible.

Attention is now on the future course of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Efforts are centered on a new framework scheduled to take effect in 2020 to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which has served as a pillar of emission control measures.

China and the United States, the two largest emission producers, are not obliged to reduce greenhouse effect gases under the Kyoto Protocol. A new framework must involve all major industrial countries to be effective.

Of course, every country must make every effort to reduce gas emissions as much as possible even before a new framework will take effect.

Use of nuclear power generation that produces no carbon dioxide is also indispensable for tackling global warming.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 4, 2013)
(2013年10月4日02時12分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2013-10-06 06:33 | 英字新聞

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