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World could heat up 4 degrees C in 50 years

Immediate action needed to hold warming to half that, scientists calculate

9:06pm, November 29, 2010

There’s not much time to reach binding international agreements for limiting greenhouse gas emissions if climate negotiators are going to meet the goal of keeping global average temperatures from climbing no more than 2 degrees Celsius above those typical of pre-industrial times. Continuing with a business-as-usual approach to energy use into the foreseeable future could foster a 4 degree C warming, perhaps as early as the 2060s, a package of new papers concludes.

Such a dramatic temperature increase would be expected to trigger extensive, recurring droughts in some parts of the world, flood coastlines as sea levels rise and drastically alter the types of crops that can survive where lands remain arable, notes Mark New of the University of Oxford in England. New contributed to several of the 11 papers in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. The journal issue, officially dated January

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