The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a new report on the Earth’s climate today, stating that humanity’s influence on the warming climate “is clear. The panel, an organization set up by world governments to assess the science and risks of climate change, said that it is “extremely likely” that humans have been the dominant cause of climate warming since at least 1950.
The IPCC report, titled Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, is a review of recent climate science. Referring to recent climate studies, the report shows that each of the last three decades, taken as a whole, has been successively warmer than all previous decades since 1850. Rising temperatures were once again pinned on rising atmospheric greenhouse gasses. All but one of the panel’s future scenarios shows that global temperatures will rise over 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century, and its most extreme scenarios put global temperature changes show an over 2 degrees Celsius rise by that time.
“Observations of changes in the climate system are based on multiple lines of independent evidence,” said Qin Dahe, the co-chair of IPCC Working Group I, which prepared the new report. “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,”
The report goes on to predict that warming temperatures will melt glaciers and ice sheets, raising the global mean sea level an an ever-increasing rate. According to the IPCC, ocean warming accounts for more than 90% of energy introduced into the Earth’s Climate system since 1971.
As for solutions, the report offers few other than a call for “substantial and sustained” reductions in the emission of greenhouse gasses. The IPCC has concluded that climate change will produce effects in the coming centuries – even if humans were able to cut off greenhouse gas emissions.
“As a result of our past, present and expected future emissions of CO2, we are committed to climate change, and effects will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 stop,” said Thomas Stocker, the other co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group I.
(Image courtesy NASA)