Report has 'smoking gun' on climate
By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Mon Jan 22, 10:06 PM ET
WASHINGTON - Human-caused global warming is here, visible in the air, water and melting ice, and is destined to get much worse in the future, an authoritative global scientific report will warn next week.
"The smoking gun is definitely lying on the table as we speak," said top U.S. climate scientist Jerry Mahlman, who reviewed all 1,600 pages of the first segment of a giant four-part report. "The evidence ... is compelling."
The AP story gives a recounting of the development process for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which is to be released in four parts over the course of this year.
While there're plenty of incidentals to make GCC nay-sayers snivel about "bureaucratic overkill" and other such "subtle" ghost arguments, the amount of effort, research and rigorous analyses that have gone into this report should finally put to rest any lingering doubts as to the forecast for our planet's near-term future.
And I don't just mean that in a geological sense. If you're under 50, as am I, it's not just your grandchildren's lifetimes which will be buffeted by catastrophic environmental changes. It is our own.
The February report will have "much stronger evidence now of human actions on the change in climate that's taken place," Rajendra K. Pachauri told the AP in November. Pachauri, an Indian climatologist, is the head of the international climate change panel.The sky may not be falling (at least outside of the many war-zones the world over) but it sure is about to start gettin' medieval on our asses.
An early version of the ever-changing draft report said "observations of coherent warming in the global atmosphere, in the ocean, and in snow and ice now provide stronger joint evidence of warming."
And the early draft adds: "An increasing body of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on other aspects of climate including sea ice, heat waves and other extremes, circulation, storm tracks and precipitation."
The world's global average temperature has risen about 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit from 1901 to 2005. The two warmest years on record for the world were 2005 and 1998. Last year was the hottest year on record for the United States.
The report will draw on already published peer-review science. Some recent scientific studies show that temperatures are the hottest in thousands of years, especially during the last 30 years; ice sheets in Greenland in the past couple years have shown a dramatic melting; and sea levels are rising and doing so at a faster rate in the past decade.
[Ain't no "Chicken Little" baby]
Happy Tuesday . . .