A recent National Research Council report revealed the environmental effect of every 1 degree Celsius increase in global average temperatures. These include up to a 10% rainfall reduction in arid regions such as southwestern North America, the Mediterranean and southern Africa, along with forest fires that would consume three times more land in the United States alone.
River basins could experience up to 10% less stream flow, and certain crop yields in the US, Africa and India would be reduced by 15% for every degree of temperature rise.
In addition, the scientists warned that because the greenhouse gas CO2 dissipates so slowly, its concentrations in the atmosphere, and thus its warming effects, would increase even with emissions kept at current levels.
Dr. Susan Solomon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explained, "Because carbon dioxide is so long-lived in the atmosphere, it could effectively lock (the) Earth and future generations into warming not just for decades and centuries, but literally for thousands of years."
In related research, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientists have reported on the significant global warming effect of the greenhouse gas methane.
Updating the 2006 United Nations report, "Livestock’s Long Shadow," which estimated that livestock creates 36% of human-caused methane, US researchers calculated these numbers to be 57% higher.
As methane’s warming potential is approximately 72 times more than CO2 when averaged over 20 years, and its rate of dissipation much shorter at about 12 years, reducing levels of this greenhouse gas would have a relatively immediate cooling effect.
Thank you, Dr. Solomon, National Research Council and other scientists for helping us to become better informed of the consequences of our choices. Let us quickly heed such urgent information in making the optimal changes to ensure a livable planet for future generations.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has often addressed the detrimental tolls of global warming, as during a September 2009 videoconference in South Korea in which she also confirmed the importance of methane reduction as the most efficient way to cool the planet.