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Andrew Alden

IPCC 5, the Newest Climate Report

By September 28, 2013

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a team of hundreds of climate scientists, has sat down with representatives of more than a hundred nations and hammered out the summary of its fifth major report on world climate. There are no surprises, but climate science has progressed and sharpened the focus of its picture of the coming century. The IPCC now considers it "extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century." There is no sign that global warming has "paused," even if global average air temperature has done so for the last few years—the total heat being stored in Earth's air and ocean continues a steady rise. Also as disquieting is the steady drop in the ocean's pH as it continues to absorb high levels of carbon dioxide from the air.

Read more coverage of the report from the science press and other sources:
Science: Richard Kerr, "Even Greater Confidence of Looming Warming"
RealClimate: "The New IPCC Climate Report"
LiveScience: Denise Chow, "IPCC Climate Chnage Report: Experts React"
Dot Earth: Andrew Revkin, "Why More Climate Science Hasn't Led to More Climate Policy—Yet"
Knight Science Journalism Tracker's Charlie Petit offers a roundup of mainstream media coverage


September 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm
(1) jim meyer says:

Now that climate change has been added as a topic for a geology blog it would be nice to see more about how the Earth really effects it’s own climate. We all know events being forced by the Earth itself have a huge effect upon the climate and yet this is never mentioned in all the dire reports about how humans are to blame. The ice age and rather minor events like volcanoes and earth quakes must have some influence-don’t you think? What about the fact that Death Valley, Ca was a huge lake a short time ago and North Africa was a wetland 10,000 years ago?

September 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm
(2) Geology Guide says:

Hello Jim, I’ve covered climate change since I started here in 1997; see some of my work in the Climate, Oceans & Ice category.

I think your real point is to make the common, specious argument that because Earth itself has changed dramatically over geologic time, we should not worry about changes that may occur over human time. We have a good idea, based on extensive evidence, of how Earth has responded to atmospheric changes, and the changes that humankind has imposed on the atmosphere are of the same general magnitude–only they’re happening hundreds of times faster than nature acts.

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