Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 40: The future of transport and development in the new millennium: the inescapable implications of climate change
Governments around the world acting on behalf of their populations now face a dire predicament. Carbon dioxide emissions in the global atmosphere have reached a dangerous level of concentration and are predicted to go on rising considerably into the foreseeable future. Temperature and sea-level increases and changes in weather patterns are beginning to shrink the habitable land mass on which a burgeoning future population, forecast to be more than a third higher than it is now, will have to live. One of the most eminent US climate scientists, James Hansen (Hansen et al., 2008), has warned of the danger of the concentration of these emissions exceeding 350ppmv (parts per million by volume): at present, they exceed 390ppmv and are well on the way to an irreversible tipping point. Fairly recently, temperatures around the world were calculated to be seriously unsafe if the global temperature were to exceed a rise of 2oC above the pre-Industrial Revolution level. A rise of up to 5oC later this century is now predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2013). The fact that these figures are global averages, with countries in more extreme latitudes likely to experience even sharper rises, provide even more disturbing grounds for concern.
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