Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Global warming: Getting worse

The IPCC -- the gold standard for climate change science -- is getting gloomier.

Although the final wording of the report is still being worked on, the draft indicates that scientists now have their clearest idea so far about future climate changes, as well as about recent events. It points out that:

· 12 of the past 13 years were the warmest since records began;

· ocean temperatures have risen at least three kilometres beneath the surface;

· glaciers, snow cover and permafrost have decreased in both hemispheres;

· sea levels are rising at the rate of almost 2mm a year;

· cold days, nights and frost have become rarer while hot days, hot nights and heatwaves have become more frequent....

To date, these changes have caused global temperatures to rise by 0.6C. The most likely outcome of continuing rises in greenhouses gases will be to make the planet a further 3C hotter by 2100, although the report acknowledges that rises of 4.5C to 5C could be experienced. Ice-cap melting, rises in sea levels, flooding, cyclones and storms will be an inevitable consequence.

Past assessments by the IPCC have suggested such scenarios are 'likely' to occur this century. Its latest report... is far more robust and confident. Now the panel writes of changes as 'extremely likely' and 'almost certain'.

Good luck everyone.

Wonder what Canada's New Government will say?

3 comments:

James said...

Canada's government, like the US, will do whatever is expedient. If it affects Harper's chances for a majority then he'll act. If not, he won't.

With Bush so focused on the Middle East, climate change is back burner stuff, because it's not as imperative to his re-election right now.

I'd certainly like to see far more action on this issue.

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