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Need for real effort

Dawn Gibson
Friday, May 16, 2014

CLIMATE change is everyone's battle and we cannot put it off forever.

This was one of the many worrying sentiments made yesterday by New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research chief scientist Dr David Wratt while speaking at the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group two report.

Dr Wratt said unless people stood together and collectively made a real effort to change the way they used energy, the planet would only continue to heat up.

"Basically, how much the world warms up depends on how much carbon we burn, how much carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere," Dr Wratt said.

"The problem is that once we put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, some of it stays there for a very long time, so if we stop emitting carbon dioxide, which is just about impossible because we burn fossil fuels and so on, the temperature won't suddenly drop down because the carbon dioxide will still be there."

He said the climate battle was indeed a sacrifice the world had to take on immediately, before any progress could be made.

"How much are people that live in New Zealand and the United States prepared to do so that people in the Pacific Islands won't have a problem with rising sea levels?

"It's pretty difficult."

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