The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has acknowledged the obvious fact that human influence on the Earth’s climate system is clear. “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” states the IPCC report that was released today (27 September).
Climate change is not a new concept. The report, titled Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis, recognizes that the temperature of the Earth has risen over the last three decades.
People have stopped and paid attention from time to time when a cause made enough noise in the news. In March 2009 Polar Bear International received a lot of attention in saying that polar bears are at risk of extinction due to the effects of climate change. To be blunt, not enough people were personally affected for climate change to remain in the focus of the news.
A CNN reporter in Miami this morning reacted with surprise that the ocean levels were rising. A few years back, reports were made public that confirmed icebergs in the Arctic were melting. It was only a matter of time before the rising sea water would affect the East Coast. Sea level does not change at the same rate across the globe, according to NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. This is because the ocean floor is not flat.
“Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased,” said Qin Dahe, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I which released the report today.
To reduce the effects of climate change, Co-Chair Thomas Stocker conceded that “substantial” reductions of gashouse emissions were necessary.
How will climate change affect us?
We will experience longer heat waves and we will experience them more often. Heat waves will lead to droughts which may lead to more extreme wildfires like the ones experienced in Colorado and other western states this summer. The recently released U.S. Drought Monitor report states that 50.1 percent of the contiguous U.S experienced drought conditions, up 4.5 percent since the end of July. The sea water will continue to rise, changing the coastline forever.
“Heat waves are very likely to occur more frequently and last longer. As the Earth warms, we expect to see currently wet regions receiving more rainfall, and dry regions receiving less, although there will be exceptions,” Stocker said.
“As the ocean warms, and glaciers and ice sheets reduce, global mean sea level will continue to rise, but at a faster rate than we have experienced over the past 40 years,” said Co-Chair Dahe.
Not everyone agrees with the findings however.
“No one should trust the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] report issued today,” said Professor Robert Carter, Chief Science Advisor of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) and former head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University, Australia. “The IPCC has a history of malfeasance that even includes rewording recommendations of expert science advisors to fit the alarmist agenda of participating governments.”
Carter, who does admit that there is a climate problem, is not alone in believing that the sky is not yet falling. In a release from the ICSC (17 September), Carter states, “Therefore, we must prepare for, and adapt to, all climate hazards when they happen. Spending billions of dollars on CO2 controls in a vain attempt to stop these events from occurring reduces the wealth of societies, and so our capacity to address these and other real world problems.”
John McLean, a climate data analyst in Melbourne, Australia warns that media have been “tricked” reporting that thousands of climate experts endorsed or agreed when he claims that only a few dozen scientists have actually even commented on that section.
Dr. Madhav Khandekar claimed in an earlier press release that it is the media who have created the perceived link between global warming and extreme weather is primarily.
“Earth’s climate is robust and is not being destabilized by human-added CO2,” said Dr. Khandekar.
The Final Draft of the Working Group I report (version distributed to governments on 7 June 2013), including the Technical Summary, 14 chapters and an Atlas of Global and Regional Climate Projections, will be released online in unedited form on Monday, 30 September.
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