Washington, D.C. — AP — A dramatic loss of ozone over Antartica proves the “greenhouse effect” is real and presages a gradual warming of the Earth that threatens floods, drought, human misery in a few decades and — if not checked — eventual extinction of the human species, scientists warned Tuesday.

“I believe global warming is inevitable; it’s only a question of magnitude and time,” Robert Watson told the Senate Environment Subcommittee on Environmental Pollution.

“We can expect significant changes in climate in the next few decades,” said Watson, predicting that if nothing was done to slow ozone-depleting air pollution, temperatures around the world could rise as much as 10 degrees.

Watson is director of the upper atmospheric program for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said global temperatures should be nearly 2 degrees higher in 20 years, “which is about the warmest the Earth has been in the last 100,000 years.”

Source: AP (Milwaukee Sentinel)