Letter to the editor: Hot enough for you?

The World Meteorological Organisation recently reported that global average concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015. According to the WMO, this is the highest concentration in 800,000 years.

So what, people might ask? Well, first of all, the year on year increase is the most rapid ever recorded. But far more importantly, according to the WMO: “The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2  was 3-5 million years ago, the temperature was 2-3°C warmer and sea level was 10-20 meters higher than now.”

To see the full report, google “wmo greenhouse 2017 record”.

Imagine that. How much of our coastal cities would disappear if the sea level rose by 10 metres or so? And climate change is already impacting.

The Lancet, one of the world's oldest and best known general medical journals, recently reported on the impact of climate change so far. Among a number of “indicators and headline findings” are that: between 2000 and 2016, the number of vulnerable people exposed to heat-wave events has increased by around 125 million; annual weather-related disasters have increased by 46 per cent from 2000 to 2013; globally, climate change alone has directly forced at least 4400 to migrate and over 1 billion people may be at risk of migration by the end of the century, without further action.

To see the full report, google “lancet climate countdown”.

All this, according to the Australian Academy of Science, on  an increase in global averaged temperatures of round 0.8°C since 1850 and 2012. Imagine adding another 2°C or 3°C! But isn’t this just more alarmist talk? It certainly alarms me. To those who doubt, the WMO and Lancet reports: please, please read the evidence before you rush to judgement. The lives of your (and my) children and grandchildren may depend on it.

Jim Main, Treetops, Cootamundra