A new report published this week in Stockholm by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted ‘with 95 per cent certainty’ that greenhouse gas emissions produced by humans are to blame for the Earth’s global warming.
Known as AR5, the report is the product of the collaborative efforts of 840 main authors, selected from 38 of the IPCC’s member countries. The report stands at a massive 3000 pages, and is so extensive that only the initial third, which focuses on the physical sicence of climate change, has been released at present. The final two thirds are scheduled to be published in instalments over the next 14 months, and will look at the impact of climate change, and how to reduce our contribution to global warming.
The main findings of the report, however, are a stark warning to us all. The IPCC’s 95 per cent prediction stands in sharp contrast with previous assessment reports, which lay at 50 per cent in 1995, 66 per cent in 2001 and 90 per cent in 2007. The IPCC’s message could not be clearer: there is now little evidence to convince the members that mankind is not the principal cause of increased levels of the greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, which are the cause of climate change.
The report also warned that should greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels, it would cause further warming and changes across the climate system; changes which would require ‘substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions’ to be contained or reduced. Professor Thomas Stocker, an IPCC co-chair, speaking at a news conference in Stockholm, said that climate change “challenges the two primary resources of humans and ecosystems, land and water. In short, it threatens our planet, our only home”.
The publishing of the IPCC’s report has seen climate campaigners harden their stance on climate change, calling for increased action from the UK with regards to emissions reduction. Any Atkins, executive director of Friends of the Earth UK, said: “Scientists are now as convinced that humans are causing climate disruption as they are that smoking causes cancer – politicians can’t continue to stand idly by while the world goes spinning towards climate catastrophe.
“Tough action is urgently needed to end the planet’s dangerous fossil fuel fixation and to develop the huge job-creating potential of renewable power – with developed nations like Britain taking the lead.”
Sources include BBC News, The Independent
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