Related topics

Earth Heating Up Faster, International Scientific Investigation Says

August 28, 1990

SUNDSVALL, Sweden (AP) _ The Earth is heating up faster than previously documented and it is imperative that nations agree to reduce gases responsible for global warming, say scientists at a conference on climactic change.

″We face warming trends faster than at any time in 10,000 years,″ Mostafa K. Tolba, head of the U.N. Environment Program, said Monday in an opening speech outlining the results of a two-year international climate study.

The conclusion that the Earth is heating by one-third of a degree Celsius each decade is among the conclusions of a draft document being debated at the four-day conference.

About 300 government officials, lawyers and scientists from 70 countries are hoping to adopt a final report that would be a basis for United Nations action on fighting the ″greenhouse effect.″

The United States, represented by a 25-person delegation, has objected to some preliminary conclusions of the report, which was prepared by 1,000 atmospheric experts from industrialized and developing countries.

In the past, U.S. officials have resisted a worldwide ceiling on emissions of carbon dioxide, the gas that scientists believe causes 60 percent of the ″greenhouse effect.″ Increasing levels of carbon dioxide are believed to trap heat from the sun, gradually warming the planet.

The United States produces more carbon dioxide than any country, and 75 percent of all ″greenhouse″ gases are emitted by the Western industrialized nations.

President Bush is among leaders calling for more exact measurements of the effects of carbon dioxide and precise predictions of the result of emission reduction before he would consider mandatory ceilings.

The United States, the Soviet Union and Japan are the major industrialized countries which have not imposed voluntary ceilings on carbon dioxide production within their borders.

The preliminary draft report by the scientists says emissions resulting from human activities are substantially increasing concentration of carbon dioxide and other ″greenhouse″ gases in the atmosphere.

Tolba called for immediate negotiations on a treaty providing controls of carbon dioxide emissions.

G.O.P. Obashi, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said, ″To solve the problem of ‘greenhouse’ gases requires the industrialized countries to change their over-consuming ways.

″It also requires that development in the less industrialized world goes forward in a sustainable manner,″ he said. ″And this will require a large flow of assistance, both financial and technological, from North to South.″

The four-day conference in Sundsvall, 240 miles north of Stockholm, is expected to make specific recommendations on what the world should do about climate change.

A second World Climate Conference will follow in Geneva in October, and a Framework Convention of Climate Change is scheduled in Washington, D.C. in February.

Update hourly