Indexed on: 20 Dec '07Published on: 20 Dec '07Published in: Carbon Balance and Management
The 50-year global CO2 record led the way in establishing a scientific fact: modern civilization is changing important properties of the global atmosphere, oceans and biosphere. The evidence on which this scientific fact is based will be refined further, but the next challenge for scientists is broader. In addition to its traditional role in providing discovery, diagnosis, and prediction of the changes that are taking place on our planet, science has now also a role in helping society mitigate emissions by objectively quantifying them, and in helping adaptation by providing environmental forecasts on regional scales. Science is also expected to provide new options for society to tackle the transition to a new energy system, and to provide thorough environmental evaluation of all such options. This is what the meeting recognized as planetary responsibilities for scientists in the next 50 years.