British economist, Nicholas Stern, author of of the most significant and prominent studies on climate change in the last decade, warns that global warming will be much more severe and detrimental than predicted.
Stern is a former chief economist for the World bank. In 2006, he released a study on the future cost of climate change, which had a strong influence on many policy makers. He predicted that around five percent of the yearly gross domestic product would be spent on coping with effects of climate change.
His predictions from seven years ago were already striking, however, he now states that climate change is now happening much faster than he established due to the rising amounts greenhouse gas emissions from growing economies, particularly in China.
If no change in carbon emission policies take place, Stern predicts that there is a strong possibility that the temperatures rise to five degrees Celsius in the coming century. This is a phenomenon that has not been recorded in over 30 million years.
Stern points out that at three degrees Centigrade higher than pre-industrial averages, noted 30 million years ago, the sea level was about 20 meters above the current level. He expects that other effects such as expansion of deserts and melting of ice caps will take place much faster.
He is certain that even if the action plan agreed in 2010 during the UN conference in Mexico is followed, warming of four degrees Celsius is inevitable.
Stern is convinced, however, that politicians still have the possibility to change and implement new strategies. He hopes that after this year, leading world politicians including President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will have stronger stand point on climate change.