There is about a 50 percent probability that the blanket of manmade greenhouse gases surrounding the planet is thick enough to warm the planet by 2.5 degrees Celsius and there is a five percent probability that the warming could even exceed 4 degrees Celsius. Irreversible and iconic changes to the earth system are likely during this century and beyond.

The scientific community and the decision makers should urgently search for ways to contain the warming. There are feasible and sustainable ways to accomplish this Herculean task by thinning the blanket and by reducing black carbon levels, both of which have significant co-benefits to the inhabitants of the planet.

Geo engineering is another option, but it requires more scientific scrutiny and has many negative side effects.

About Veerabhadran Ramanathan

Dr. V. Ramanathan has played a key role in the climate research field for more than 30 years. He discovered the greenhouse effect of CFCs and other manmade gases and he forecasted that global warming would be detectable by the year 2000.

With Dr. Paul Crutzen, he discovered the widespread South Asian Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABCs), and linked them to effects on the monsoon circulation and rainfall as well as to decreased agricultural harvests. His most recent publication suggests that human activities have likely committed the planet to exceed the threshold for several climate tipping points during the twenty first century.

Dr Ramanathan is awarded the Tyler Prize this year, the latest in a row of many national and international awards.

About Gordon Goodman

Professor Gordon Goodman was the founding director of the Beijer Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Stockholm Environment Institute. Against the background of the unique contributions of Gordon Goodman to global environmental issues, a lecture will be held annually in his honour.

Seminar time and place

Wednesday 29 april 2009, 17:00-18:00
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The beijer hall, Lilla Frescativägen 4, Stockholm, Sweden.