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Climate change increasing, UC researcher says

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Climate change is increasing faster than what the world was ready to admit 20 years ago, a University of Canterbury (UC) climate change biologist said today.

Dr Stinus Lindgreen said researchers had been talking about accelerating climate change for decades and many people had chosen to ignore it.

Today, there is a strong scientific consensus that the world is warming and that we will face climate changes and, therefore, policymakers really need to take this serious and think about how to handle it. I do hope more people will acknowledge that the climate is changing and that we can play an active role in that and that we can and should do something about it,’’ he said

Dr Lindgreen will attend the New Zealand climate change conference at Palmerston North on June 4 and 5 to learn about new developments and latest predictions.

I am investigating how soil ecosystems react to climate change since they are extremely important for some of the key processes that we all rely on. Will we see an increase in CO2 emission from soil? Will some bacteria disappear as a consequence? These are important questions that we are just now beginning to answer.

The consensus is that, on a global scale, we will see an increase in sea levels which obviously will affect coastal areas. Coming from Denmark and now living in New Zealand I have two good reasons to be slightly worried about how global climate change will affect coastal countries.

In Europe there has been a large shift in public awareness of global climate change and I am confident that the same can and will happen here. New Zealand has a unique natural environment which is worth protecting. You all know that. But it also means that it can be surprisingly vulnerable to change, so we need to take it seriously,’’ Dr Lindgreen said.

Climate change was probably leading to more extreme weather events which had become more common around the world, he said. The Intergovernmental Panel on climate change has said the planet is getting warmer which will affect weather patterns.

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