Rapid global warming will create famine and drought, Lovelock warns
Climate change is happening faster than anyone predicted and its consequences could be dire for the survival of civilisation in the 21st century because of the chaos it will cause in terms of famine, drought and mass migration, according to a leading scientist.
James Lovelock, the inventor of the Gaia theory, which likens the Earth to a living organism, will tell the the Royal Society in London this evening that humans have in effect declared war on the planetary survival system, causing it to explode out of control.
Man-made emissions of greenhouses gases were triggering a positive feedback in the climate in which temperature increases generated further temperature rises and the release of vast amounts of carbon dioxide from natural stores on land and in the oceans.
"I see our predicament as like that faced by any nation that is about to be invaded by a powerful enemy: now we are at war with the Earth and, as in a blitzkrieg, events proceed faster than we can respond," he will say.
"We are in a strange position of living on a planet where climate and compositional change is now so rapid that it happens too fast for us to react to it."
Professor Lovelock's address will spell out why he believes change is happening faster than many experts had predicted. "The positive feedback on heating from the melting of floating Arctic and Antarctic ice alone is causing an acceleration of system-driven heating whose total will soon or already be greater than that from all of the pollution CO2 that we have so far added," he says.
But Professor Lovelock believes there is some hope that the natural, "negative" feedback cycles of the planet can be exploited to soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...