Globe on Course for 'Worst-Case' Temp Hike

6 degree rise predicted if Copenhagen deal fails
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2009 4:08 AM CST
An Australian farmer looks over his drought-stricken property in northwestern New South Wales, Australia.   (AP Photo/Peter Lorimer, File)

(Newser) – The worst-case scenario for climate change is getting closer to becoming reality, a group of climate scientists warned yesterday. World temperatures are on course to rise an average of 6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, according to the Global Carbon Project researchers. Experts believe a temperature rise on that scale would make much of the world unfit for human habitation.

The scenario has become so bad because of unforeseen rises in carbon emissions this decade from industry, especially in China, and deforestation, according to the scientists, who warn that the "carbon-feedback" effect has already begun. The upcoming Copenhagen conference could represent the world's last chance to stabilize emissions and keep temperatures out of the danger zone, one researcher tells the Independent.