Evening Lecture – Climate Change
The accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere due to the use of fossil fuels for the production of energy, the release in traces of other gases which could modify the radiative balance of the climatic system, the intensive deforestation and the artificial modification of the soil linked with demographic explosion are that much factors which makes Man an important element acting progressively, but surely, on the evolution of the climate in the upcoming years. Emissions of GHG are now higher than 10 GtC per year, following one the most pessimistic scenario of the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (IPCC).
Global warming has already reached 1 °C during the 100 last years (1900 to 2015) and the sea water level has risen up to 20 cm during that same time, coupled with others effects such as rise of the warmth content in the ocean and the melting of ice in the Arctic Ocean.
Studies performed by the IPCC (2013) show that, depending on the scenarios, the global warming at the end of this century will be comprised between 0.3 and 4.8 °C, leading to profound changes in actual climatic zones with consequences such as changes in regional climates and coupled socio-economic impacts.
Because no situation analog to this global warming exists in the recent past of the Earth, the use of paleoclimatic data is mandatory, in particular those of 125.000, 330.000, 400.000 and 800.000 years ago which are considered as good analogs.
André BergerProfessor Emeritus at Université catholique de Louvain (UCL)