THE concentration of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse effect gas, has increased by 90 part per million due to human activity in the last 150 years, and climate change is a very real threat, according to Joan Grimalt, research professor at the Chemical and Environmental Research Institute in Barcelona. Speaking at a lecture, he said “this increase is the equivalent of what happened naturally when our planet passed out of the ice age”.
Grimalt, explained that “as a result of climate change the level of the sea rose by 30 centimetres in the 20th century, and by the end of the 21st it is expected to have risen beteen 30 centimetres and one metre”. He added “With regard to temperatures, during the last century they rose by 0.6 degrees Celsius and at the end of the 21st century they could have risen by between one and six degrees”. Grimalt also said that “it is very probable that, by the end of this century, the snow on many mountains over 3'000 metres high will have disappeared and the snow in Greenland, the North Pole and the Antarctic could also have melted”.
Speaking of the so called “hole in the ozone layer” above the Antarctic, Grimalt said that during the last few years it had decreased, but from 2060 it could increase again due to the action of hydrogen chloride and chlorine nitrate on the stratosphere. He said that there was a very real threat of climate change to the Earth, and called for preventive measures, such as respecting and protecting the environment. Grimalt explained how humanity uses sources of energy which are not available to any other living creature. Joan Grimalt Obrador (born in Palma in 1956) is Professor of Research for the Board of Scientific Research and Vice Director of the Institute for Chemical and Environmental Investigation in Barcelona. He did a doctorate in chemical science in Barcelona University in 1983 and has done post doctorate studies at the College of Oceanography in Oregon State University (USA 1983) and in the School of Chemistry in Bristol University (UK 1985). His professional career is centred around the study of natural organic compounds, indicators of the state of health of ecosystems and living organisms (including human beings), and climate change. He received the Jaume I Prize for Environmental Preservation in 2005, the Institute of Catalan Studies' Environmental Prize in 2001 and the Barcelona City's Scientific Research Prize in 2000.


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