Friday, September 27, 2013
Climate change is getting serious
The intergovernmental panel on climate change (http://www.ipcc.ch/) has issued a new scaring report. This report collects the scientific consensus on climate change. “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. 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,” said Co-Chair of the Panel Thomas Stocker. “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,” he added. Projections of climate change are based on a new set of four scenarios of future greenhouse gas concentrations and aerosols, spanning a wide range of possible futures. “As the ocean warms, and glaciers and ice sheets reduce, global mean sea level will continue to rise, but at a faster rate than we have experienced over the past 40 years,” said Co-Chair Qin Dahe. The report finds with high confidence that ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system. Unless we do something, life in our planet will be something very different a few decades from now. The exact degree to which that will happen is uncertain, but the probability of a disastrous scenario is far above zero. Of course, the ones who will suffer more will be the most vulnerable and poor. Time to combine egalitarianism and environmentalism at a global scale.