Philippe Huybrechts / Professor

VUB / Climatology, Glaciology

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

My main concern is the inertia of the climate system and the long time scales connected with in particular sea level rise. It will be very difficult, hence impossible, to avoid sea level rises of several meters over the next few centuries at least. Honestly, combined with political and economic inertia, I am not optimistic that we will able to save the ice sheets from losing an important fraction of their ice volume in the long term, possibly even all of it.
In my personal life, I am trying to limit greenhouse gas emissions as much as I can, but that is a mere drop on a hot plate for now. The house that we built 12 years ago is well insulated, much beyond the norms at that time. We use a geothermal heat pump for heating and warm water and we have 25 solar panels on the roof. In the span of a year, we produce about 60% of our electricity ourselves, and the rest is provided by certified green sources (no biomass, predominantly wind, and mostly from Belgium). I also drive an electric car. The only thing I feel difficult to avoid is traveling by plane, as there are no realistic alternatives for places >1000 km away and obviously none for intercontinental destinations. My job, not the least the work for IPCC, requires frequent traveling by plane.
I am convinced mankind will eventually manage to stabilise the warming by reducing emissions to near zero, but I am afraid it will be at a far too high level

Originally posted 2018-10-27 10:32:56.