Bleak IPCC Report Highlights Deadly Climate Impacts

pollutionThe International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the main UN international group studying climate change — has released the second installment of the IPCC fourth assessment report enitled “Impact, Adaptation and Vulnerability” [more | more2]. Building on February's IPCC report which found human greenhouse gas emissions are very likely to be the main cause of recent warming, thousands of the world's leading climate scientists concurred that heat-trapping emissions from industry and other activities are already influencing weather patterns and ecology. A further increase in global average temperatures of 3-5 degrees F is expected to lead to a wide variety of climate change exacerbated disasters including droughts, floods, hunger, disease, extinction of at least a fourth of the world's species, loss of vital global natural areas like the Amazon and Great Barrier Reef, and inundation of coasts and islands occupied by hundreds of millions of people. The report says the poor will be hardest hit by these changes. Even given this litany of serious climate change disasters, many scientists involved in the process express concern the report was watered down by government representatives [more | more2 | more3]. It is unacceptable that the IPCC allow diplomats to edit scientific reports, even as authors note “the report removed any doubt about the urgency of acting to curb emissions of greenhouse gases”. It is likely to be worse, much worse – indeed the end of the Earth and her complex life including humans. I have been blogging on climate change, environmental sustainability and forests since 1995 (the longest continuous blog of any kind on the Internet), and many times have been accused of spreading unfounded doom and gloom. My predictions back then pale in comparison to events actually unfolding right now and predicted soon by the IPCC. EcoInternet calls for immediate urgent climate action based upon these IPCC reports.

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7 Responses

  1. John Achenbach says:

    I agree that global warming is serious problem requiring immediate action, but I am puzzled about the degree which it is caused by human output of CO2. How much would a reduction of carbon output by 80% in turn reduce global warming?

  2. mike says:

    I think something should be done now about global warming.
    Bye the time the government investigates it will be too late to do anything about it.
    All big business is worried about how much there stockholders would lose.
    It's about time we the people say that's enough and start doing something now not
    Wait for the government to say there is a problem.
    WAKE UP PEOPLE OF THE WORLD BEFORE WE DROWNED

    Mike Briese

  3. john harkness says:

    My God, people. Don't you know it's already too f'n late. Read the report. The fact that we are seeing lots of clear, manifest results of GW means that we are already commited to lotst more of the same and worse. This is the science-based reality. We are already deep inside of the apocalypse. But almost all people and decision makers are totally oblivious.
    John Achenbach–get a grip–read a book. George Monbiot's _Heat_ would be a good start for you. 80% isn't going to cut it any more. More like 90-95+%.

  4. Distrom Wiley says:

    Circle, hold hands and speak in unison “thee's no place like home.” . . .”there's no place like home.” Stock up on canned veges and bottled water, go to the basement next to wall … you kow opposite the basement window. Oh my, oh my.
    -; as Jerrry Malhlman suggested (Annu. Rev. Energy Environ. 1998, 23:83-105). Paul -; you do understand my comment re "if the science is clear there would be no debate." See my comments on the forecasting future trends and how IPCC statements are framed and used.
    As for your "veracities," my point is your point and we agree, not disagree. Your first two paragraphs supporting the current science are about what has happened historically up to now. No argument on the observations but some issue with the attributions. Over some period of time temperature has risen and forcings have increased. Time series data plot on a linear scale showing a pattern correlation. We can draw a curve and fit with a log linear function. One can calculate the forcing relationships from first principles showing that the physical properties of GHGs based on the same physical properties that make them forcing. The issue is "the forecast" and how it is being used to advance the cause.
    In addition, one can calculate from the 2nd Law that in closed system an increase in temperature corresponds with an increase in entropy suggesting increased temperature volatility.
    I say I am for climate change policy. I reject arguments that do not allow balanced discussion and that attempt to make this a "black or white," "good guy -; bad guy," "all or nothing" value based argument misrepresenting or embellishing facts and presenting as a fait accompli without tabling what we know with certainty, what we don't know, what we can never know, the limits of knowledge. The world is multivariate and non linear both time and space. We know that models based on first principles can describe patterns for individual forcings over the historical periods of time and space. A lot of the improvement from the 3rd Assessment (TAR) has come from tuning boundary value parameters at sub level boundaries. Attempts to determine Granger causality based on covariatio of time series of valuies treated as exogenous have likewise failed or border on being comedic claiming proof based n 5, 8 and 11th order lagged responses said to demonstrate causality.
    The models are based on a large group of linked non linear subsystems varying over time and space. The best we have for describing, analyzing and drawing conclusions about what has happened. If a preponderance of evidence exists you can get to the point of saying it is causing effect. Not good for mid to longer term projections in which assumptions of linear exogenous forcings are extrapolated orders of magnitude over the independent variable and decades to a hundred years out in time. More computing power is not the answer. Gut feeling we have approached the limits of physical modeling both in defining the systems and computer simulation. hypothetical, let's say we have a finite difference model with an error of 0.0001% modeled over 10 million model segments (not sure if this is representative or not) -; what is the error? Answer: 270%. This is just for illustration. IPCC do not make any claims on the accuracy or reliability of these models for longer term forecasting and acknowledge uncertainties in the long term modeling. Expert opinion on the longer term outlook not a statement about the likelihood or reliability of forecasts but a subjective polling of report drafters – and this highly controversial. Looking at the range or averaging a group of models does not increase the reliability of the projection for the obvious reasons. Actual data are needed or a controlled experiment representing forcings, interactions and feedbacks plus some way of dealing with future unknowns.
    Headlines of the local newspaper at the Seoul Hyatt lobby showed an AP stock photo with "glaciers melting into a churning froth of rising sea water" and title "Global Warming Endangers 30% of Creatures." It did not show polar bears, seals and parched lake beds. The hotel maid has no inkling on the matters of "Science", but their reaction in the Pew survey is "yes I am alarmed about global warming." So welcome to the world of policy debate. The debate will go on and become stronger as the P. Duffy's of the world stand up as P. Duffy did here and say "I'm mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more." Otherwise we have the opposite of H.G. Wells' "World State" in which only restricted interpretations of fact are allowed on really big issue using psychodrama to push our policy agendas. I do not reject the fact of field observations as you ascribe but I absolutely demand that we titrate the uncertainties in making big time policy decisions.
    The Oxford historian Norman Davis outlined five basic rules of propaganda in "Europe -; a History," Oxford Press, 1996, pp 500-501):
    Simplification – reducing all data to a simple confrontation between

  5. kerry says:

    As I suspected, David Becher is David Wheeler is Distrom Wiley in disguise. Glen. These people are a waste of time. Why do you let them post. My eyesight is going. I can`t afford to waste what I have left reading trash rubbish that isn`t the slightest bit biocentric. Tell `em politely to F off! I would if it were my site. It isn`t censorship or debate stifling. These people are not debating.

  6. Ron Cram says:

    I disagree that climate change is a crisis. According to CRU, the people the UN IPCC trust to determine global average annual temps, 1998 is still the warmest year on record. The oceans have been cooling since 2003 and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has just entered a 30 year cooling phase. The science the IPCC is based on is unverified. What will the IPCC say in five years when the globe still has not exceeded the 1998 numbers?

  7. david becher says:

    With all due respect, I am not David Wheeler, not prof of finance at Drexel and not a plant of the conservative right… and I take office at being accuse of being so stupid to copy my own posting form another blog on the same site and signing some fake name Distrom Wiley. I have said throughout that I am for intelligent dialogue to for better progress and strongly believe that labeling, slurring, typing, behavior and talk such as telling some one to f' off is 100% immature and innapropriate – Kerry you are out of line soldier and I recommend banning from all intelligent blogs.
    David Becher

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