By Michael McCarthy
19 May, 2007
The earth’s ability to soak up the gases causing global warming is beginning to fail because of rising temperatures, in a long-feared sign of “positive feedback,” new research reveals today.
Climate change itself is weakening one of the principal “sinks” absorbing carbon dioxide - the Southern Ocean around Antarctica - a new study has found.
As a result, atmospheric CO2 levels may rise faster and bring about rising temperatures more quickly than previously anticipated. Stabilizing the CO2 level, which must be done to bring the warming under control, is likely to become much more difficult, even if the world community agrees to do it.
The news may give added urgency to the meeting in three weeks’ time between the G8 group of rich nations and the leading developing countries led by China, at Heiligendamm in Germany, when an attempt will be made to put together the framework of a new world climate treaty to succeed the current Kyoto protocol.