Mumbai: Global warming due to climate change will be catastrophic to biodiversity and also lead to substantial glacial melt, according to a study conducted by a team of scientists led by professor V Ramanathan from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego, in the US.
A scientist of Indian origin, Ramanathan says that the temperature on Earth will increase by about 2.4 degree C above pre-industrial levels, even under extremely conservative greenhouse-gas emission scenarios, which is a cause of great concern. He feels that the global community still faces the danger of climate change and should not come under the assumption that present efforts to clean up the atmosphere will stop climate changes.
Once the rise in temperature reaches its threshold, the planet will face the wrath of the nature with widespread loss of biodiversity, glacier meltdowns and other adverse consequences, siad the scientist.
The team of researchers in their study put down the challenges the society faces in dealing with a problem of such epic proportions and coping with these circumstances will require "transformational research for guiding the path of future energy consumption."
Ramanathan said, "We hope that governments will not be forced to consider trade-offs between air pollution abatement and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions."
The research points out that greenhouse gas concentrations can be regulated at a constant level of 2005 levels for the next century, by drastically reducing emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide within the next decade
However with economic growth, it would be difficult to curb the emission rate due to industrial pollution, increase in automobiles and deforestation to meet the growing demand of raw materials.
The researchers then calculated future warming by assuming that the cooling effect of man-made aerosol pollution will be eliminated during the 21st Century.
Particles such as soot (carbon black) and other sulfate aerosols from fossil fuel combustion, exert a cooling influence on the climate, which according to many environmentalists counteract global warming. These particles remain airborne only for a matter of weeks, it is expected that clean-up efforts produce relatively immediate results.
The constant rise in temperature, therefore provided a base for the team to assume the absence of these pollutants in the atmosphere.
By contrast, greenhouse gases especially carbon dioxide remain in the atmosphere for ages. Due to increase in greenhouse gases from pre-industrial era levels, the warming range of the planet has reached between 1.4 degree C to 4.3 degree C, the report stated..
About 90 per cent of that warming will most likely be experienced in the 21st Century, the report added.