"UN Document Shows Copenhagen Summit Falling Short"

"COPENHAGEN -- Carbon emissions cuts pledged at U.N. climate talks would put the world on 'an unsustainable pathway' toward average global warming 50 percent higher than industrial countries want, a confidential U.N. draft document showed Thursday.

The document, obtained by The Associated Press, forecast that the average global temperature would rise in coming decades by 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial levels.

The world has already warmed a bit, so that would mean an additional 2.3 degrees Celsius (4.1 degrees Fahrenheit) warming from the present day.

Scientists say such rises in average temperatures could lead to catastrophic sea level rises, which would threaten islands and coastal cities, kill off many species of animals and plants, and alter the agricultural economies of many countries."

John Heilprin reports for the Associated Press December 17, 2009.

Source: AP, 12/18/2009