The state of climate change was recently released by the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change. Among important insights covering global warming, the U.N. panel of scientists have reached an unprecedented consensus stating there’s a 95% probability that all climate change is caused by human activities.
The IPCC was established by the United Nations in 1988 to comb through the most recent published and peer-reviewed research on global warming, and put together comprehensive reports on the risks and impacts of climate change. This level of certainty regarding anthropomorphic climate change has never been experienced before. In 2007, the IPCC said climate change is primarily caused by man with 90% certainty, while just six earlier in 2001 the same panel only gave a 66% probability.
“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 that concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased,” said Qin Dahe, co-chair of IPCC working group one, who produced the report.
The IPCC calls for a dramatic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as much of the global warming data scientists have gathered thus far attest to changes in the climate system that are “unprecedented over decades to millennia”. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface, and warmer than any period since 1850, and probably warmer than any time in the past 1,400 years.
Climate skeptics use the past 15 years of relatively stable warming as a wildcard to discredit any man-made climate change. The IPCC downplayed this idea, claiming the time frame is too short to reflect long-term trends, adding that it started in 1998 with a very hot El Nino.
In the 36-page document, which is only the first part of a longer complete report slated to come out over the following 12 months, also presents various climate change scenarios for upcoming years including sea level rise, melting glaciers and rising global average temperatures. Sea levels,according to the new report, are project to rise at a faster rate than we have experienced over the past 40 years. An important adjustment well worth mentioning from the 2007 report is that of the temperature range from 2.0C-4.5C , to a more conservative 1.5C-4.5C. For the future, the report says that projected warming for the end of this century is likely to exceed 1.5C, relative to to the period 1850-1900.