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Category — IPCC

Scientists: Climate case is overwhelming

Alex Kirby

Arctic_ice1

The Arctic is melting, and temperatures nearby could reach 8°C, the scientists say. Image: Patrick Kelley via Wikimedia

Eleven days before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change publishes its latest report, a group of eminent scientists says there is massive evidence of human responsibility.

With the IPCC report not yet published, there is already heated debate about what it will say, and about the implications of its findings for human development.

The scientists’ statement is unequivocal, and is not based on whatever the IPCC may publish. They  say: “The body of evidence indicating that our civilisation has already caused significant global warming is overwhelming.”

The statement comes from 12 members of the recently established Earth League, which describes itself as “a voluntary alliance of leading scientists and institutions dealing with planetary processes and sustainability issues”.

They say that if humans continue with business as usual, using fossil fuels and pumping out excessive amounts of greenhouse gases, the world will be on track for a planet that is 4°C warmer by the end of this century, or even earlier.

The group says assertions that there has been no warming this century are simply wrong. “Regardless of the…  (erroneous) claim that global warming has already stopped, evidence is that once well-known impacts from El Niño, volcanic aerosols and solar variability are removed from the observations, the warming trend of the ocean-atmosphere system is unbroken; and that it will continue (potentially towards 4°C) unless serious mitigation action is taken.

“That global warming continues unabated over the last decade is confirmed by ocean measurements. Ninety per cent of the additional heat that the Earth system absorbs due to the increase in greenhouse gases is stored in the oceans, and the global array of thousands of scientific measurement robots in the oceans proves that they keep heating up at a steady pace. Meanwhile satellites show that sea levels also keep rising steadily.”

The statement says a 4°C rise would drastically change the Earth. Some coastlines and entire islands would be submerged by rising sea levels, and more extreme heat waves would cause crop failures and loss of life. [Read more →]

September 19, 2013   No Comments