“…[B]eyond 1 degree C may elicit rapid, unpredictable and non-linear responses that could lead to extensive ecosystem damage.”


“…[B]eyond 1 degree C may elicit rapid, unpredictable and non-linear responses that could lead to extensive ecosystem damage.”

- United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases

In 1986, three international bodies, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), who had co-sponsored the Villach Conference in 1985, formed the Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases (AGGG), a small international committee with responsibility for assessing the available scientific information about the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the likely impact.

In 1990 the AGGG calculated what level of climate change our planet could tolerate, also referred to as “environmental limits.” These levels and limits were summarized in the document, “Responding to Climate Change: Tools For Policy Development,” published by the Stockholm Environment Institute.

The targets and indicators set limits to rates and total amounts of temperature rise and sea level rise, on the basis of known behaviour of ecosystems. The AGGG report identified these limits in order to “protect both ecosystems as well as human systems.” The report states that the objective is: “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic [human made] interference with the climate system.”

It adds: “Such a level should be achieved within a timeframe sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.” Thus the report requires limits to both the total amount of change and the rate of change.

Further, they warned that a global temperature increase “beyond 1 degree C may elicit rapid, unpredictable and non-linear responses that could lead to extensive ecosystem damage.” A temperature increase of 2ºC was viewed as “an upper limit beyond which the risks of grave damage to ecosystems, and of non-linear responses, are expected to increase rapidly.” [For "non-linear," read "runaway global climate change."][2]

The Framework Convention on Climate Change signed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 should have ensured that staying within the AGGG-identified ecological limit of a 1ºC temperature rise is a central objective. But it didn’t. This investigation attempts to spell out why.

From the AGGG report.  The low risk indicators:

Sea level rise

·         maximum rate of rise of 20–50 mm per decade

·         maximum total rise of 20–50 cm above 1990 global mean sea level

Global mean temperature

·         maximum rate of increase of 0.1ºC per decade

·         maximum total increase of 1.0ºC

The AGGG report also identified the CO2 [equivalent] concentrations corresponding to these as 330 – 400 ppm for 1ºC and 400 – 560ppm for 2ºC.  It is critical to understand these concentrations cited from the report are far below the 350 ppm that has become the status quo target of today.

Read more: Exposé | The 2º Death Dance – The 1º Cover-up | [Part 1]: http://theartofannihilation.com/2010/12/10/part-1-expose-the-2%C2%BA-death-dance-%E2%80%93-the-1%C2%BA-cover-up/

Creative commons photo courtesy of Matt Ridge via Flickr.

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