The Mother of All Positive Feedback Loops?

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Virginia Tech


The Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce emissions in industrialized countries to five percent below 1990 levels by 2012, however no evidence indicates that this goal will be reached. As a consequence, we will again exceed the Earth s assimilative capacity for greenhouse gases and humankind will push the climate closer to major, irreversible tipping points. Currently, Earth s ability to assimilate greenhouse gases is declining while greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. Climate change is becoming out of humankind s control. Although science may be full of uncertainty, if continuing _business as usual is likely to have catastrophic effects on the biosphere, precautionary measures are justified, even if scientific uncertainty still exists in these areas.



tipping points, positive feedback loops, scientific uncertainty, climate change, greenhouse gas emission