Greenpeace 'has firm evidence' of global warming

GREENPEACE yesterday launched the world's first database of early warning signs for climate change - a long list of floods, storms, droughts and changes in wildlife, weather and ice and snow patterns which it believes are all indicators of man- made global warming.

The environmental pressure group claimed that there was now unshakeable evidence that pollution had begun to change the earth's climate and make the planet a more dangerous place.

The database has been published as a 166-page book called The Climate Time Bomb and the information will also be available on the computer network Internet.

Jeremy Leggett, Greenpeace's director of science, said the report had been sent to the governments of 167 nations that had signed the United Nations climate protection treaty. 'I challenge any of them to read the report and not feel the need for a new urgency in addressing this threat,' he said.

But some British researchers were unimpressed. 'This is a collection of newspaper cuttings not worth the paper it is written on,' said Dr Chris Folland, of the Meteorological Office's Hadley Centre in Bracknell, Berkshire, one of the world's leading centres of climate change expertise. 'It's not scientific - the approach is not a valid one.'

The Greenpeace report has 500 entries which include brief summaries of reports from pressure groups, scientists and governments, as well as hundreds of cases of extreme weather. Newspaper sources have been relied on heavily.

Greenpeace, which claims 5 million paying supporters worldwide, points out that:

Eight of the last 14 years have been the hottest since world-wide temperature records began in the last century.

In the last five years the insurance industry has been hard hit by 15 'billion dollar' climate-related disasters, including floods and hurricanes.

Coral bleaching is killing Tahiti's reef systems - the latest in a world-wide surge of coral damage which some scientists believe is due to warmer sea temperatures.

Dr Leggett said that the insurance industry could be the first major casualty of man-made climate change and it was now starting to take the issue seriously. It had dollars 160bn worth of reserves around the globe which could be exhausted in the aftermath of a series of hurricanes and floods. This 'global insurance collapse' would threaten the world economy.

He accepted that it was in the nature of climate to be highly variable, and there would always be extremes around the world at any one time. 'But what we are seeing now is a peculiar concentration in the number and intensity of events.'

However, Dr Folland, while believing that man-made global warming could be a threat, said: 'There always are extreme climate events happening. It's not yet possible to prove that the climate is becoming more variable.'

There is a scientific consensus that rising emissions of pollutants, especially carbon dioxide and methane, are trapping more of the sun's heat in the atmosphere. This could alter rainfall and wind patterns as well as raising temperatures and sea levels.

But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which gathers together top scientists in the field, believes there will be no unequivocal proof for about 10 years that the climate is changing. By then the planet will be committed to further change.

Greenpeace wants developed nations to cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by 2005 as a first step in tackling the problem. But the UN's climate change treaty only calls on them to stabilise emissions at their 1990 level by the year 2000.

The Climate Time Bomb; Greenpeace UK, Canonbury Villas, London N1 2PN; pounds 5.

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
Arts and Entertainment
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales - OTE £30,000

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a rapidly expanding offi...

Recruitment Genius: HVAC Project Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful candidate will b...

Recruitment Genius: Key Accounts Administrator - Fixed Term

£13500 - £14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting new opportunity has...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - Business Services-£70,000 OTE

£35000 - £45000 per annum + OTE £70,000 + car + pension: h2 Recruit Ltd: A wel...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game