French focus on ‘climate change' fears

NEWS Researchers from around the world are expected to meet next month in Papeete, French Polynesia to discuss leading environmental issues like global warming. Growing fears over possible impacts from global warming – including potential for global economic collapse due to increasingly bad weather within the next few decades – have seen some in the scientific community adopt "climate variability" as an alternative explanation to rising temperatures, other than human pollution. However the Papeete conference zeroes in on "Risques naturels et changements climatiques" or natural risks and climate change. Jean-François Royer, CNRM/GMGEC/UDC, Equipe Dynamique du climat makes the following comments, in French, mostly and roughly translated via Google as follows: "The analysis of long climatic series shows a significant reheating of temperatures on the surface on the whole of the globe during the 20th century, and the more variable changes according to different seasons and areas for rain. " "Such climatic changes can be attributed mainly to modification of the thermal regulation of our planet caused by an increase in industrial gas wastes or the ‘greenhouse effect’, such as from carbon dioxide." "Projections in growth of industrial activity, under various economic scenarios, make it possible to calculate modifications of global climate using digital models representing, in detail, principal mechanisms governing the circulation of atmosphere, ocean, ice-shelves, and, their interactions." "These simulations, carried out under many climatic models, show that reheating will continue and could reach several degrees by the end of the 21st century, given scenarios of rapid economic growth. " "This increase in the average temperature will be accompanied by many changes in general circulation of atmosphere and ocean and in the hydrological cycle, leading to important modifications in the frequency of extreme phenomena such as heat waves, heavy rain or drought, and tropical cyclones. " "At the conference, we will review the results of new climatic simulations, carried out within the framework of the GIEC, by stressing more particularly the changes simulated on the Pacifique area and their consequence. These climatic changes could have an impact on many activities such as storage, the management and the distribution of the water reserves, the fires of forest, agriculture, tourism, the heating and air-conditioning, health…, and require relatively important adaptations in our ways of life." According to the French embassey website, next month’s conference follows an earlier one which took place in August 2004 in Noumea, New Caledonia, and takes into account objectives defined there for 2008. The Papeete conference is being promoted as a “progress report” ahead of targets for next year. Delegates will assess research with regard to two themes relating to current major issues: natural hazards and climate variability, and, Societies - Resources and Environment, still with the same goal: "to contribute through research, with the support of Europe, to the development of all countries and territories of the Pacific region". For further information, please consult the following website: Original abstract in French as follows: L’analyse de longues séries climatiques montre un réchauffement sensible des températures en surface sur l’ensemble du globe au cours du 20-ème siècle, et des changements plus variables selon les saisons et les régions pour les précipitations. De tels changements climatiques, peuvent être attribués principalement à une modification de la régulation thermique de notre planète produite par l’augmentation des rejets industriels de gaz à « effet de serre », tels que le gaz carbonique. Les projections de croissance de l’activité industrielle, selon divers scénarios économiques, permettent de calculer les modifications du climat à l’aide de modèles numériques représentant en détail les mécanismes principaux régissant la circulation de l’atmosphère, de l’océan, de la banquise et leurs interactions. Ces simulations, effectuées par de nombreux modèles climatiques, montrent que le réchauffement se poursuivra et pourrait atteindre plusieurs degrés à la fin du 21-ème siècle, dans le cas de scénarios de croissance économique rapide. Cette augmentation de la température moyenne s’accompagnera de nombreux changements dans la circulation générale de l’atmosphère et de l’océan et dans le cycle hydrologique, conduisant à des modifications importantes dans la fréquence de phénomènes extrêmes tels que les canicules, les fortes précipitations ou les sécheresses, et les cyclones tropicaux. Nous passerons en revue les résultats de nouvelles simulations climatiques, effectuées dans le cadre du GIEC, en mettant plus particulièrement l’accent sur les changements simulés sur la région Pacifique et leurs conséquence. Ces changements climatiques pourraient avoir un impact sur de nombreuses activités telles que le stockage, la gestion et la distribution des réserves en eau, les incendies de forêt, l’agriculture, le tourisme, le chauffage et la climatisation, la santé …, et nécessiter des adaptations relativement importantes dans nos modes de vie.