Amid charges of global warming hoax, new warning on climate change
Photo, courtesy pixomar
A report Tuesday on the latest climate-change research shows emissions rising quickly and ice caps melting faster than projected. The report comes amid a controversy over hacked scientists’ e-mails that some say point to a global warming hoax.
By Peter N. Spotts, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / November 25, 2009
Global carbon-dioxide emissions are rising fast, global temperatures continue to climb at a pace in line with projections, and polar regions are losing ice faster than climate models have projected.
These are some of the recent research findings highlighted by a group of 26 climate scientists in a report released Tuesday dubbed The Copenhagen Diagnosis.
The purpose of the effort, say researchers from eight countries, including the US, is to update policymakers and the public about the pulse of the planet ahead of the climate-treaty negotiations scheduled to begin in the Danish capital Dec. 7. The assessment comes amid a controversy over hacked e-mails of climate scientists – including a few who contributed to this effort – that global warming skeptics are using to question climate science.
In the United States, climate deniers are at an all-time high. They feel that by talking loudly, and talking enough, they can somehow change the truth. I have to admit I am unable to understand it. I can do nothing more than report . This is, yet again, more evidence of the real picture, as science sees it.This announcement, made today, is another in a long string of moves by the United Nations, to put this issue to rest so we can get on with the necessary moves to ameliorate the results as much as possible.
Unfortunately, there are vested interests who stand to gain vast sums of money by delaying the necessary actions. This is done at the risk of every man woman and child in the United States and the world.
Please help us to act...Jeff Darling: Editor
Authors of the landmark 2009 climate report "The Copenhagen Diagnosis" estimate that by 2020 industrial nations must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by around 40% below 1990 levels to secure a decent chance of avoiding dangerous human interference with the climate system.
The Copenhagen Diagnosis authors used IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) projections as well as post-AR4 analysis to estimate that emissions reductions of around 40% from industrial nations are needed to make it likely to keep global warming below 2°C.
In their report released 25 November of this year, the authors noted that many nations had publically recognized the importance of this 2°C limit. Yet the authors said today that this 2°C warming threshold could be crossed as early as 2040 unless significant mitigation measures were taken urgently.
The report also noted that global warming continues to track early IPCC projections based on greenhouse gas increases. Without significant mitigation, the report concluded that global mean warming could reach as high as 7 degrees Celsius by 2100.
The report found that:
- Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass and contributing to sea-level rise at an increasing rate.
- The area of summer sea ice remaining during 2007-2009 was about 40% less than the average projection from the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
- Global sea-level rise may exceed 1 meter by 2100. Without significant mitigation, sea-level rise of several meters is to be expected over the next few centuries.
If long-term global warming is to be limited to a maximum of 2°Celsius above preindustrial values, average annual per-capita emissions in industrialized nations will have to be reduced. Since the landmark 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted and ratified by virtually all nations including the US, emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels have risen by more than 40%, said the authors.
"The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change pledged to avoid dangerous human interference with the climate system. Yet recent emissions growth sets us on a pathway toward significant climate change, unless deep emission cuts are secured urgently", said Professor Matthew England, an author of the report.
The Copenhagen Diagnosis, a year in the making, was released worldwide last month.
The report concluded that several important aspects of climate change are already occurring at the high end, or even beyond, the expectations of just a few years ago.
- The report found that global ice sheets are melting at an increased rate; Arctic sea ice is thinning and melting much faster than recently projected, and future sea-level rise is now by around 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050.