Emissions cuts must balance the climate, scientists warn

Scientists in the US have called for strong measures to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, agencies reported on Thursday, reflecting the emergence of an increasing vocal scientific community that wants to see concerted action on climate change.

The world’s climate is "clearly out of balance and is warming", the American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest scientific organisation dedicated to Earth, atmospheric, and space sciences, said in a statement.

This strong stance is a significant shift for the 50,000-member organisation. "The AGU has not done this in the past," AGU president Timothy Killeen was reported as saying.

"Warming greater than 2 degrees Celsius above nineteenth-century levels," the statement said, "is projected to be disruptive, reducing global agricultural productivity, causing widespread loss of biodiversity, and – if sustained over centuries – melting of much of the Greenland ice sheet."

If the 2-degree rise was to be avoided, the AGU said, annual emissions of carbon dioxide had to be cut by at least 50% by the end of the century.

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