martedì, ottobre 31, 2006

I Cinque Gradi dell'Apocalisse

E' uscito domenica sull'Independent un riassunto del rapporto di Nicholas Stern sulla situazione climatica. La faccenda, per dirla gentilmente, è apocalittica.

Qualcuno tradurrà sicuramente in italiano questo rapporto e i commenti del caso. Per il momento, date una scorsa nella versione inglese dell'articolo apparso sull'"Independent". Un grado, due gradi, tre gradi...... E poi addio pianeta.


A global catastrophe of our own making

by Steve Connor, Science Editor

The Independent & The Independent on Sunday Online Edition (October 31 2006)

Average global temperatures have increased by less than one degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution, but they are projected to increase by up to five degrees Celsius over the coming century if carbon dioxide levels continue to rise without restraint. With each one degree Celsius rise in average global temperatures, the Stern Review portrays progressively more serious scenarios.

The five degrees of disaster

One degree Celsius: Smaller mountain glaciers disappear in Andes, threatening water supply of fifty million people. More than 300,000 people extra die from increase in climate-related diseases in tropical regions. Permafrost melting damages roads and buildings in Canada and Russia. One in ten species threatened with extinction, eighty per cent of coral suffers regular bleaching.

Two degrees Celsius: Water scarcity increases in southern Africa and the Mediterranean. Significant decline in food production in Africa, where malaria affects up to sixty million more people. Up to ten million extra people affected by coastal flooding each year. Arctic species, such the polar bear, face extinction along with fifteen to forty per cent of world's remaining wildlife. Gulf Stream begins to weaken and Greenland ice sheet begins to melt irreversibly.

Three degrees Celsius: Serious droughts in southern Europe occur once every ten years. Between one and four billion people suffer water shortages and a similar number suffer from floods. Many millions of people at risk of malnutrition, as agricultural yields at higher latitudes reach peak output. More than 100 million people are affected by the risk of coastal flooding. Mass extinction of animals and plants accelerates.

Four degrees Celsius: Sub-Saharan Africa and the southern Mediterranean suffer between thirty and fifty per cent decrease in availability of water. Agricultural yields decline by 15-35 per cent in Africa. Crops fail in entire regions. Up to eighty million extra people are exposed to malaria. Loss of around half of the Arctic tundra. Many nature reserves collapse. Giant West Antarctic Ice Sheet begins to melt irreversibly, threatening catastrophic increases in global sea levels.

Five degrees Celsius: Possible disappearance of the large glaciers of the Himalayas, affecting the water supply of 25 per cent of population of China and hundreds of millions more in India. Ocean acidity increases with threat of total collapse in the global fisheries industry. Sea levels rise inexorably, inundating vast regions of Asia and about half of the world's major cities, including London, New York and Tokyo.



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