This past Friday, the UN Intergovernmental Climate Change Panel closed with a 36 page summary, as the final 1000 page report will become available on Monday September 30th. The coming together of over 200 nations committed to working with the panels’ recommendations was compiled from the work of over 800 scientists during the past four years.
This was no light undertaking. The 36 page summary report is available online from the New York Times link listed at the bottom of this report. The conclusion of the report states: “Human influence on the climate system is clear. It is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing (gases and aerosols), observed warming and understanding the climate system.”
The report highlights the concentration of carbon dioxide; methane and nitrous oxide exceed the highest concentrations recorded in ice cores during the past 800,000 years. It is interesting to note that the report comments that annual carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production were in 2011 54% above the 1990 level.
The dramatic portions of the report summary cite that over the last two decades Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass glaciers. These two major glaciers magnify that the Arctic Sea ice and the Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover have continued to decrease.
A staggering fact of the report is that the sea level rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennium.
No one at this point doubts that global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is likely to exceed 1.5 C.
Now that most people are on the same page and accept that the 800 scientists and compilation of work that led to an all-night session in Stockholm to open Friday morning’s closing remarks brings the most important step next. That step is the Panel’s summary conclusion that limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
How does the world achieve this goal? There are many opportunities to reduce gas emissions. The Automakers report lists car sales of hybrids, plug-ins, and diesels for July 2013 jumped 50 percent from a year earlier, reflecting the fastest year-over-year gain since January’s 58 percent growth rate. This is good news for the planet.
M.W.Guzy quoted Upton Sinclair in the Beacon, September 26, 2013 to emphasize the motivation to reduce substantially greenhouse gases, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it.” The difference must be made by leaders to economically make a way for profit in producing products that reduce creating the greenhouse gases.
The emphasis is on hybrids, plug-ins, diesel, and ethanol. Brazil and the U.S. lead the world in ethanol production. The most successful use of agriculture technology in the world is to use sugar cane production as an alternate fuel source.
Solar power which has been a leading alternative to carbon emissions and wind power, which dominates in Germany and Netherlands, provides hope to the future that all of these other options can be profitable to feed man’s economic need.
There is a future for substantial change and continued profit through ingenuity.