U.N. climate panel to issue starkest report yet on global warming

Global Warming 5

The other day, I posted THIS PREVIEW of a forthcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

And now, a British newspaper is offering THIS unsettling peek at the document:

Scientists will this week issue their starkest warning yet about the mounting dangers of global warming. In a report to be handed to political leaders in Stockholm on Monday, they will say that the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation have now led to a warming of the entire globe, including land surfaces, oceans and the atmosphere.

Extreme weather events, including heatwaves and storms, have increased in many regions while ice sheets are dwindling at an alarming rate. In addition, sea levels are rising while the oceans are being acidified – a development that could see the planet’s coral reefs disappearing before the end of the century.

Writing in the Observer ahead of the report’s release, the economist and climate change expert Lord Stern calls on governments to end their dithering about fossil fuels and start working to create a global low-carbon economy to curtail global warming. Governments, he states, must decide what “kind of world we want to present to our children and grandchildren”.

The fifth assessment report on the physical science of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that humanity is on course over the next few decades to raise global temperatures by more than 2C compared with pre-industrial levels. Such a rise could trigger the release of plumes of the greenhouse gas methane from the thawing Arctic tundra, while the polar ice caps, which reflect solar radiation back into space, could disappear.

Although the report does not say so, Earth would probably then be facing a runaway greenhouse effect.

The scientists’ warning – the most comprehensive and convincing yet produced by climate scientists – comes at a time when growing numbers of people are doubting the reality of global warming. Last week, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) published a survey showing that the proportion of British people who do not think the world’s climate is changing has almost quadrupled since 2005.

Asked if they thought Earth’s climate was changing, 5% of respondents said “no” in 2005, a figure that rose to 11% last year and reached 19% this year.

But as the IPCC report underlines, scientists are becoming more and more certain that climate change poses a real danger to the planet.

Many believe the disconnection between popular belief and scientific analysis has been engineered by “deniers” explicitly opposed to the lifestyle changes – including restrictions on fossil fuel burning – that might be introduced in the near future.

“There are attempts by some politicians and lobbyists to confuse and mislead the public about the scientific evidence that human activities are driving climate change and creating huge risks,” said Stern.

“But the public should be wary of those who claim they know for certain that unmanaged climate change would not be dangerous. For they are not only denying 200 years of strong scientific evidence – the overwhelming view of the world’s scientific academies and over 95% of scientific papers on the subject – but they are often harbouring vested interests or rigid ideologies as well.”




  1. Judith Squires

    There is a tendency among people to deny problems that seem to be beyond to scope of easy solutions. I think this is why there is so much denial about this very real issue. Also, it is in the interest of the corporate elite to hire “scientists” who will support their view. The evidence is truly substantial and if we care at all about our children and our grandchildren, we have to take serious action.

  2. thehereandnow1

    Someone should get a comment from Ed Bagley Jr. on this. To those of you over 30 you may remember him from his work on “St. Elsewhere”, or his role as the hotel manager in the mockumentary “Best In Show”. Back in the early to mid 80’s he was much in the same vein and the Chicken Littles here, predicting back then that by now we’d all have to be good at the breast-stroke because the ice caps would’ve melted and the oceans would have swallowed us all up. Or maybe someone should get a comment from Mr. All Things Global Scary, Al Gore. Oh wait, we can’t. He busy counting all the millions of dollars he made by selling his failure of a TV network to a group that is backed by a big OIL producing nation. Nah, nothing hypocritical about that. Oil is bad…unless it gives you 500 million reasons to like it.

    The global warming/climate change/insert buzzword of the day here group cries and wrings their hands saying the ice caps are melting, when in fact last year they actually grew and are continuing to do so. They say that we’ll be subject to heat waves, storms will be more severe. They’ve been predicting gloom every hurricane season since Katrina, yet every time they come up short. This report is their attempt to try and scare people to support their cause. They’ve been able to ride roughshod for a long time, scaring people and making money. Well now the facts come out and more and more people see them for the snake-oil salesmen they are.

    Funny that these fools think man has such control over things. Regardless of if you are religious and believe God controls all or not and believe science runs everything, man is but a speck of a speck of a speck in the grand scheme of that which is called Earth. It’s been around a long time before man came, it’ll be around a long time after man is gone. To think that man can destroy the Earth simply inflates the egos of liberals who think they’re more important than they actually are.

    Liberals should just give it up. They’re wrong on the environment. They’re showing with amazing clarity that they are terrible when it comes to trying to run a country. You all should go back to doing that which you’re only ok at…making movies, writing songs, and complaining about people who can actually do something good for the country.

  3. thehereandnow1 (the wingnut formerly known here as Possum Jenkins): You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The overwhelming majority of the world’s climatologists subscribe to mainstream scientific theories regarding anthropogenic global warming, but you, with no such credentials, call these people “fools” and “”snake-oil salesmen.”

    The fact of the matter is that there is not a single scientific organization of national or international standing — not even one — that doesn’t subscribe to prevailing theories on man-made global warming. But you pretend to know better.

    What a laugh!

  4. By the way, Possum Jenkins, here are some of the organizations that subscribe to the global-warming theories with which you disagree:

    American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Astronomical Society, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Institute of Physics, American Meteorological Society, American Physical Society, American Quaternary Association, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, European Academy of Sciences and Arts, European Geosciences Union, European Science Foundation, Geological Society of America, Geological Society of London-Stratigraphy Commission, InterAcademy Council, International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, International Union for Quaternary Research, National Research Council, Network of African Science Academies, Royal Meteorological Society and World Meteorological Organization.

    But, of course, the people who do, in fact, agree with you include lots of same anti-science nutcases who also disagree with the theory of evolution.

  5. theherandnow1

    Here’s the one and only organization that matters: The Real World.

    Fact – The Theory of Evolution is as flawed (and some may say moreso) that your belief that creationism is flawed. Going by Darwin’s theories man should have been extinct a long time ago. Man was hardly the fittest when they first started coming about. Though I like how you, when threatened, feel the need to lump people who believe that mankind may be more than an evolutionary fluke as “anti-science nutcases”. You have no idea of my thoughts on the subject, but your comments do show your ignorance.

    And please, comment on Mr. Gore. You know, the one who hoodwinked all you brain-trusts with the carbon credits. How’s that working out for you? You get to rub your tummy at night knowing you can drive your car because you paid to have a tree planted, and he gets to go to sleep knowing he’s made money off of suckers like you. If someone was so strong of courage, such a firm believer in all he went around preaching (in private plans of course), you’d think he’d reject on principle selling his tv channel to a company that was funded by big, evil oil. Yet apparently when 500 million reasons present themselves you lose your moral stance.

    Sorry Pat, I’ll still be kicking it on this rock for a while. And though you are quite older than I, even with your doom and gloom on the environment, you’ll be gone before the Earth konks out.

  6. Possum Jenkins, the notorious global-warming denier, also has his doubts about evolution.

    Why am I not surprised? And why am I not disappoitned by Possum’s promise to stay away from this blog “for a while”?

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