Climate change – unprecedented climate shifts within a lifetime

New research suggests that earth’s climate will face unprecedented change by mid-century unless more is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The team investigated at what point the climate would move beyond historical climate variability, taking 1860 to 2005 as the reference period.  Their research indicated that global mean temperature would reach this point in 2069 under an emissions stabilisation scenario, and 2047 under a business-as-usual scenario.  Furthermore, the research suggested that low-income and tropical countries are likely to see their climates shift earliest – perhaps by 2020, with dramatic impacts for livelihoods and biodiversity.