Prepare for 4C temperature rise, warns top UK scientist

The UK should prepare for dangerous climate change, perhaps with a global average temperature rise of as much as 4 degrees Celsius, a government scientific adviser has warned.

The European Union is committed to limiting emissions globally so that temperatures do not rise more than 2 degree. But professor Bob Watson, chief scientific adviser to the British environment ministry, told the Guardian newspaper that in areas such as flood protection, agriculture and coastal erosion, the country should plan for the effects of a 4 Celsius global rise on pre-industrial levels. 

Globally, a 4 degree temperature rise would have a catastrophic impact. The UK government’s Stern review on the economics of climate change warned that between 7 million and 300 million more people would be affected by coastal flooding each year. The glaciers of the Himalayas would be at risk of disappearing, affecting water supplies and livelihoods across Asia. 

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