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Page added on November 29, 2006

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Warmer oceans storing climate change dangers

Global warming is creating a climate time bomb by storing enormous amounts of heat in the waters of the north Atlantic, UK scientists have discovered.

Marine researchers at Southampton and Plymouth universities have found that the upper 1,500 metres of the ocean from western Europe to the eastern US have warmed by 0.015C in seven years. The capacity of the oceans to store heat means that a water temperature rise of that size is enough to warm the atmosphere above by almost 9C.
Speaking before a lecture to the Institution of Chemical Engineers, Prof Lovelock repeated the prediction, made in his recent book The Revenge of Gaia, that global warming will kill billions of people this century. He said the Earth was undergoing a rapid transition that could boost temperatures by 8C, making large parts of the surface uninhabitable and food production impossible. A hotter planet might be able to support less than a tenth of its 6bn population.

“We are not all doomed,” he said. “An awful lot of people will die, but I don’t see the species dying out.”


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