Global temperatures could increase by up to 6 degrees Celsius during this century, with sea levels rising as much as 70 centimeters, a Taiwanese researcher predicted over the weekend.
Liu Shaw-chen, director of the Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica (中央研究院), told a January 14 seminar that Taiwan's ecosystem could suffer great damage as a result of these changes.
Liu said that although people are struggling with "damage control" by working to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, average global temperatures could still increase by two degrees Celsius to six degrees Celsius during this century.
Moreover, rising temperatures will lead to more frequent and larger scale storms and typhoons, he said, adding that flooding and droughts could also increase in frequency.
Liu noted that the greenhouse effect has caused Taiwan's average temperatures to rise by 1.1 degrees Celsius over the level 100 years ago. Globally, average temperatures have risen 0.6 degrees Celsius during that period, he said.
In addition to the greenhouse effect, urbanization has played a role in heating things up on the island, leading to a decrease in the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures by about 1.2 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years.
The relatively high temperature at night has lowered average humidity and reduced the amount of fog, Liu said.