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IPCC releases latest climate change data. More bad news.
  • EXCERPT: COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Climate change is happening, it's almost entirely man's fault and limiting its impacts may require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero this century, the U.N.'s panel on climate science said Sunday.

    The fourth and final volume of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's giant climate assessment offered no surprises, nor was it expected to since it combined the findings of three reports released in the past 13 months.

    But it underlined the scope of the climate challenge in stark terms. Emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, may need to drop to zero by the end of this century for the world to have a decent chance of keeping the temperature rise below a level that many consider dangerous.

    The IPCC didn't say exactly what such a world would look like but it would likely require a massive shift to renewable sources to power homes, cars and industries combined with new technologies to suck greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

    The report warned that failure to reduce emissions could lock the world on a trajectory with "irreversible" impacts on people and the environment. Some impacts already being observed included rising sea levels, a warmer and more acidic ocean, melting glaciers and Arctic sea ice and more frequent and intense heat waves.

    "Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the report's launch in Copenhagen.

    Amid its grim projections, the report said the tools are there to set the world on a low-emissions path and break the addiction to burning oil, coal and gas which pollute the atmosphere with heat-trapping CO2, the chief greenhouse gas.

    "All we need is the will to change, which we trust will be motivated by knowledge and an understanding of the science of climate change," IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri said.

    The IPCC was set up in 1988 to assess global warming and its impacts. The report released Sunday caps its latest assessment, a mega-review of 30,000 climate change studies that establishes with 95-percent certainty that most of the warming seen since the 1950s is man-made. The IPCC's best estimate is that just about all of it is man-made, but it can't say that with the same degree of certainty.

    Today only a small minority of scientists challenge the mainstream conclusion that climate change is linked to human activity.

    Global Climate Change, a NASA website, says 97 percent of climate scientists agree that warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.

    The American public isn't as convinced. A year-old survey by Pew Research showed 67 percent of Americans believed global warming is occurring and 44 percent said the earth is warming mostly because of human activity. More recently, a New York Times poll said 42 percent of Republicans say global warming won't have a serious impact, a view held by 12 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of independents.

    Sleep-deprived delegates approved the final documents Saturday after a weeklong line-by-line review that underscored that the IPCC process is not just about science. The reports must be approved both by scientists and governments, which means political issues from U.N. climate negotiations, which are nearing a 2015 deadline for a global agreement, inevitably affect the outcome.

    The rift between developed and developing countries in the U.N. talks opened up in Copenhagen over a passage on what levels of warming could be considered dangerous. After a protracted battle, the text was dropped from a key summary for policy-makers — to the disappointment of some scientists.

    "If the governments are going to expect the IPCC to do their job," said Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer, a lead author of the IPCC's second report, they shouldn't "get caught up in fights that have nothing to do with the IPCC."

    The omission meant the word "dangerous" disappeared from the summary altogether. It appeared only twice in a longer underlying report compared to seven times in a draft produced before the Copenhagen session. The less loaded word "risk" was mentioned 65 times in the final 40-page summary.

    "Rising rates and magnitudes of warming and other changes in the climate system, accompanied by ocean acidification, increase the risk of severe, pervasive, and in some cases irreversible detrimental impacts," the report said.

    World governments in 2009 set a goal of keeping the temperature rise below 2 degrees C (3.6 F) compared to before the industrial revolution. Temperatures have gone up about 0.8 C (1.4 F) since the 19th century.

    Emissions have risen so fast in recent years that the world has used up two-thirds of its carbon budget, the maximum amount of CO2 that can be emitted to have a likely chance of avoiding 2 degrees of warming, the IPCC report said.

    "This report makes it clear that if you are serious about the 2-degree goal ... there is nowhere to hide," said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group. "You can't wait several decades to address this issue."

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the report demands "ambitious, decisive and immediate action."

    "Those who choose to ignore or dispute the science so clearly laid out in this report do so at great risk for all of us and for our kids and grandkids," Kerry said in a statement.

    The IPCC said the cost of actions such as shifting to solar and wind power and other renewable sources and improving energy efficiency would reduce economic growth only by 0.06 percent annually.

    Pachauri said that should be measured against the implications of doing nothing, putting "all species that live on this planet" at peril.

    The report is meant as a scientific roadmap for the U.N. climate negotiations, which continue next month in Lima, Peru. That's the last major conference before a summit in Paris next year, where a global agreement on climate action is supposed to be adopted.

    The biggest hurdle is deciding who should do what. Rich countries are calling on China and other major developing countries to set ambitious targets; developing countries saying the rich have a historical responsibility to lead the fight against warming and to help poorer nations cope with its impacts. The IPCC avoided taking sides, saying the risks of climate change "are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development."<

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  • How about to compress it into most important things only and use citations formatting?

    As about climate change. I really do not care, it is same as fighting with the fact that you eat using one hole and shit is going from the other in approximately same volume :-). Eating less has the consequences to your health and locking second hole won't help :-)

    Only simple working solution to such problems is unprecedented genocide of population. I do not see them promoting this one, may be they are afraid?

  • Might not come to that, since we're losing our fight against bacteria. Things might take care of themselves on their own.

  • Things might take care of themselves on their own.

    Can be too slow. Bacteria are now quite lazy also.

    I can add here quick genetic degradation due to increasing lack of natural selection in last 100-120 years.

  • Bullets points quickly summarize report highlights and mitigation options

    Climate changes:

    The atmosphere is getting hotter. The oceans are getting much hotter, and much more acidic. Causes:

    CO2 emissions are by far the largest cause of global warming and ocean acidification, and they are rising. Methane emissions are the second largest cause of warming, and they are rising. Since 1950 human activities have led to virtually all temperature rise. Natural forces have caused virtually none of the temperature rise. The largest human sources of CO2 emissions are burning fossil fuels, making cement and burning off gas (“flaring”) from oil and gas production. Impacts:

    Sea level is rising, and at an increasing pace. Glaciers are melting, ice sheets are thinning, and Arctic sea ice is disappearing. Permafrost is thawing. In North America, snow pack is decreasing. The number of cold days and nights are decreasing. The number of hot days and nights are increasing. Heat waves will occur more often and last longer. Heavy rainstorms and snowstorms will become more intense and frequent. Overall, precipitation will rise in high latitudes and the equatorial Pacific. In mid-latitudes, dry areas will get drier, wet areas will get wetter. Species are vanishing at an alarming and ever-increasing rate. Most plants, small mammals and ocean organisms cannot adapt fast enough to keep up with changes. Global temperature rise greater than 2 degrees Celsius will compromise food supplies globally. Human health problems will get worse. Risks to poorer people are greater than for others, in all countries. What to do:

    To avoid severe damage to natural and human systems, the world should keep global warming to less than 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Without more mitigation than is being done today, the temperature is more likely than not to rise by 4 degrees C by 2100. Significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 can significantly reduce warming by 2100. Keeping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere below the equivalent of 450 parts per million of CO2 can keep warming below 2 degrees C. Levels are likely to stay below 450 ppm if human emissions are reduced 40 to 70 percent by 2050 compared with 2010 levels. Allowing levels to reach 530 ppm by 2100 gives the planet slightly better than 50-50 odds of staying below 2C; that would require reducing emissions 25 to 55 percent by 2050 versus 2010. To hit a target of 430 to 530 ppm by 2100, the world must invest several hundred billion dollars a year in low-carbon electricity sources and energy efficiency. It is highly unlikely the world will stay below 450 ppm without widespread use of carbon capture and storage technologies. So…improve technical solutions, reach government agreement

  • Once again is up to rational humans to tell the global warmest alarmist that projected computer models is not a substitute for actual data.

  • The rational humans in this case are the scientists who have spent a lifetime studying climate. Predicted by computer models, extreme weather:

    Michio Kaku joins CBS This Morning to warn 250 million Americans that “we are in the bullseye” and by midweek, “all hell’s going to break loose” as America prepares to be pummeled by something sounding almost Biblical, ‘BomboGenesis’. Kaku warns that air, train and vehicle traffic could be paralyzed next week, and schedules disrupted: “A massive disruption that will peak around November 13th to November 15th” Kaku informs us, before telling us that we could feel the ‘ripple effects’ throughout November. Kaku also warns “the Earth is changing” and we need to get used to seeing more “violent swings.”

  • You mean like thirty thousand scientist from the Oregon petition. Even if the odd prankster and charleton made it through their vetting process that would still be a lot of rational humans who are simply urging caution and a more measured approach instead of manic hysteria. Dr Kaku is a brilliant man and also an Army vet. If I were building a nuke his theoretical physics would be brilliant. But for this subject matter maybe I'll take Dr Carl Wunch's approach. If it were a matter of spending a few million for scientists to study matter that would one thing but with trillions that could spent in the hopes of of achieving onedegree of change. Like Bjorn Lonborg, I rather that money be used real change today in Africa.

  • Christ on a bike! Quoting Kaku as an appeal to authority on climate science??

    The ipcc predictions based on their GCMs have come of age. You can read the predictions from AR1 through to 5, starting in 1990. And they're wrong so far. The SPM is written by politicians and bureaucrats, in a tortuous process negotiating each sentence. It is the document that generates most of the media headlines. And as the reports are updated, the divergence between the SPM and the body of research contained in the ARs becomes greater and greater.

    Somehow, AR5 expressed increased 'certainty' for future warming (the climate sensitivity to CO2) while also increasing the 95% confidence interval. This is statistical junk.

    Boba fide scientists, faced with failed predictions and increased uncertainty would challenge their failed hypothesis - in this case that CO2 warming overwhelmed natural climate variability by the year 2000. Alarmists don't do that. They double down on their failed theories and smear those who challenge them as deniers who should be denied any media exposure. They are a disgrace.

  • The Oregon Petition was discredited several years ago by Scientific American and other sources. Climate scientists are not arguing about the science any more, they're arguing about mitigation. Here's a blog from a climate scientists that archives some of the arguments with regards to Oregon Petition.

    In fact, OISM signatories represent a tiny fraction (~0.3%) of all US science graduates (petition cards were only sent to individuals within the U.S)

    According to figures from the US Department of Education Digest of Education Statistics: 2008, 10.6 million science graduates have gained qualifications consistent with the OISM polling criteria since the 1970-71 school year. 32,000 out of 10 million is not a very compelling figure, but a tiny minority - approximately 0.3 per cent.

    There are many issues casting doubt on the validity of this petition. On investigation, attempts to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change often appear to have ideological roots, vested business interests or political sponsors. The claims made for the OISM petition do not withstand objective scrutiny, and the assertions made in the petition are not supported by evidence, data or scientific research.

  • It's fair to criticize the use of Kaku, as he's not a climate scientist. However it the post was in reference to a topical news story, and you have to take what you can get sometimes. You have to truly look under rocks these days to find any credible scientist disputing the climate change consensus. What few you can find are either switching positions, moderating their views or in most cases, retiring or dying off.

  • The founder of this group, is a mechanical engineer employed by Heartland Institute, a think tank funded by fossil fuel interests.

    He lists 142 names. 142. Most from third tier institutions and many with expertise in domains only vaguely related or even unrelated to climate. The prosecution rests.

  • Brianl - all your arguments are based on appeal to authority. That has nothing to do with science.

    Go back to the predictions made in the IPCC reports from over 20 years back. They are wrong, and of the 40 or so excuses for the unpredicted pause in warming, none of them were predicted at the time. They are post hoc rationalisations. This isn't science

  • Nope. I look at the meta data. Sources matter. Credentials matter. bogus petitions from oil company shills are not credible. If you have some citations refuting what 20 out of 20 of the world's top scientific academies have determined, you should link them here. But as you can see so far in this thread, such attempts haven't gone well. I do look for informed contrarian opinion but it's always the same gaggle of hack mercenaries with funding from Koch, Heritage, Heartland etc. The attempt to obfuscate and confuse regarding what's considered settled science, is transparent and frankly grotesque considering the potential consequences of climate change. These mercenaries don't even attempt to cover their tracks back to big energy. btw, no one needs to link us up to climategate, that's another coordinated and discredited publicity attack on science brought to you by big oil.

  • Strange to take the scientific high ground when the scientists associated with the anthropogenic global warming movement have been caught in scientific fraud after fraud, repeatedly undermining even the peer review process (BTW I'm all for alternative energy sources to fossil fuels).

    The computer models have been way off, the predictions of polar ice way off, when it gets colder it's CO2, when it gets warmer it's CO2 - etc. etc.. So maybe why people don't engage in this thread is because the religion of CO2 has been so thoroughly discredited and so fanatic in its attacks on anyone who voices skepticism, that people see the failed dogmatism for what it is.

    As long as more of the corporate driven madness of AGW isn't implemented in policy, like the unfortunate and fraudulent bankster scam of cap and trade, then all's fine and differing views good and enlightening. But when the scams come out and the bullying of the AGW-movement starts, it makes me want to puke. I remember being likened to a Nazi-sympathiser years back when I voiced some skepticism concerning the now-infamous hockey stick. And automatically you're some evil oil-worshipper, when nothing could be further from the truth. Religious fanatics.

    BTW, last I heard the National Space Institute of Denmark wasn't given to oil or based on fossil fuel hand-outs:

  • My references were the IPCC reports themselves. Numerous oil companies are members of IETA and are actively lobbying for carbon markets and subsidised renewable energy markets - your use of buzz phrases like Koch brothers and big oil may make you feel better about yourself, but it does not improve your perception of the truth.

  • your use of buzz phrases like Koch brothers and big oil may make you feel better about yourself, but it does not improve your perception of the truth.

    Try not to post this. Post data, and factual arguments. Not personal attacks.

    Numerous oil companies are members of IETA and are actively lobbying for carbon markets and subsidised renewable energy markets

    I am slightly lost. What oil companies are doing, what they want? Keep producing big amount of oil? Someone want to cut them, I mean, seriously?

  • Many organizations take money from oil companies. The Sierra Club does, and it was in the millions. Also as far as credentials go, many of the leading people in the IPCC are not climate scientist, the guy from India was a mechanical engineer, very intelligent no doubt, but not a climate scientist. I was a geoscience major at SUNY Fredonia NY 92-95, no I didn't graduate. Things I remember, the profs hardly ever agreed on anything, so the notion of consensus among scientists at large, very hard to believe. Interesting fact that I remember is that volcanoes release more CO2 than all the industries on the planet. I'd like to see the EPA try to regulate Mt St Helens.

  • It's the repeated false meme that 'big oil' is driving climate denial. In fact, many oil companies have diversified to profit from the new 'green' energy industries aggressively promoted by climate alarmists. IETA is a trade lobby that promotes carbon trading schemes whose existence depends on governments buying into CO2 alarmism. IETA includes such 'big oil' companies as Shell, Total and BP. So brianl's assertion is wrong. Big Energy is playing both sides. The cash thrown behind the climate alarmism lobby dwarfs the the climate sceptic lobby.

    As for settled science, the settled science is that there's been no warming for over 15 years. More importantly, the IPCC predictions have failed. You don't need to be in the pay of Big oil, Heartland, the Koch brothers to believe that. It's right there in the body of the IPCC reports

  • Things I remember, the profs hardly ever agreed on anything, so the notion of consensus among scientists at large, very hard to believe.

    It may be hard for you to believe, but any look at peer-reviewed climatology publications will prove that there absolutely is a consensus and it's an overwhelming one. "Debate" on this subject only occurs in right-wing media and internet forums. It is not debated in the current scientific literature.

    If you want to argue against climate science, you'll have to dismiss climate scientists as liberal stooges or incompetents because they, unlike you, are believers in global warming.

    As for settled science, the settled science is that there's been no warming for over 15 years.

    This global warming "hiatus" has been explained many times. Warming is gradual, there are many variables in complex systems and 10-15 year periods are not sufficient to discern trends. The overall warming trend is confirmed by the data. If you're determined not to see it, fine. But if you're going to cite the science, then cite the full science.

  • Scientists can be right or can be wrong. Thing is, as you burn fuel you got certain byproducts. Idea that you can limit it artificially via propaganda this just bullshit. Climate change is like sun life problem, it could certainly central be sole problem in the future, but most probably humanity won't make it this long.

  • It is complete bullshit that the science is settled on the driving factors in climatic changes. The consesus is political, which makes it all the more dangerous. Just taking one example is the research coming out of the space center at DTU which has been vindicated in several publications. Their mission isnt even to shoot down the co2 theories, just to follow data and understand main factors in climate changes.

    And this warming 'hiatus', for some reason, wasn't predicted in the models. The scientists who did predict it, though, were vilified.

  • The scientists who did predict it, though, were vilified.

    I'll tell you big secret. It is same for almost every field where you have established theory.

  • Jrd I don't view this as a liberal or right wing thing. If you look back at my previous post I really would like us to use the money on fighting ebola, malaria and dengue in Africa, hardly a right wing thing. Furthermore, I don't know how old anyone is here, but some of the same scientist on the global warming side back in the 70's were talking about global cooling. So we had global cooling, global warming, climate change and now climate disruption. Ten years ago, I couldn't have caredless about this subject. But now that the US and others are talking about spending real money on this I have had to get educated on the new information. I do read scientific journals and even white papers. And yes scientist do disagree, one colleague might not come out and say that the other is full of bullswift but they don't agree.

  • It is complete bullshit that the science is settled on the driving factors in climatic changes. The consensus is political

    Here we go again. The "science is settled" to the degree there's a consensus. And there absolutely is a consensus. The global warming trend is no more debated among competent researchers in the field than are claims for creationism. The literature doesn't even bother to dismiss your views; they're not viewed as serious.

    Of course, that consensus may be wrong, but it's bullshit to claim that a consensus doesn't exist or that there's not a strong and persuasive basis for one -- unless, again, the vast majority of climate researchers are deemed to be stooges and hacks or all the data which points to global warming is inexplicably misleading.