IPCC delivers darkest warning yet on man made climate change

Rajendra Pachauri and Thomas Stocker during Friday’s press conference.

By Anders Lorenzen

In a long awaited report on climate change which was unveiled Friday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organisation gave the darkest warning yet that man made climate change is real and that it poses a stronger than ever threat to human life if CO2 emissions are not curbed.

The report which is the fifth segment by the IPCC, is being released in stages and will only have been fully released by 2014. The full report on the part that was released today, the science of climate change, will be fully available next month –  so far only the summary points have been released.

In a press release the IPCC stated that it is extremely likely that humans are to be blame for warming since the mid 20th century. Since the 1950’s we have seen many changes which have been observed through the climate system. Each of the last three decades have been subsequently warmer than the decade preceding it since 1850.

The report was approved by member governments by the IPCC at a three day conference in Stockholm that concluded on Friday and was unveiled to the world media at a press conference.

The report titled: Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis have been produced by IPCC’s working group 1 (IPCC consists of three working groups) . Qin Dahe, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group 1 said about the report:
“Observations of changes in the climate system are based on multiple lines of independent evidence. 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.”  

Thomas Stocker, the other Co-Chair of Working Group also weighed in on the report saying: “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

And with regards to what is in store for future temperature increases Thomas Stocker said:
“Global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is projected to be likely to
exceed 1.5°C relative to 1850 to 1900 in all but the lowest scenario considered, and likely to exceed 2°C for the two high scenarios.” Continuing with the projected scenario for heatwaves he added: “Heat waves are very likely to occur
more frequently and last longer. As the Earth warms, we expect to see currently wet regions
receiving more rainfall, and dry regions receiving less, although there will be exceptions.”

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC, said of the report:
“This report provides important insights into the scientific basis of climate change. It provides a firm foundation for considerations of the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems and ways to meet the challenge of climate change.”

The remaining segments of the report will be released throughout 2014 concluding with the Synthesis report in October 2014.

The IPCC were established in 1988 by the two United Nations organisations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and later endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.

Sub edited by Charlotte Paton

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Categories: AndersLorenzen, CO2, IPCC, UN

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