The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - a group of hundreds of scientists and representatives of 113 governments, formed by the United Nations in 1988, has released their first of four reports on global warming this year. The last set of reports was concluded in 2001. This group of scientists is generally considered "the voice of the world" on global warming. Scientists from the U.S. are included in the group. According to their own web site, the report was "produced by some 600 authors from 40 countries. Over 620 expert reviewers and a large number of government reviewers also participated". Here is a direct quote from the report, courtesy of the AP, which I found on Yahoo:
"The observed widespread warming of the atmosphere and ocean, together with ice-mass loss, support the conclusion that it is extremely unlikely that global climate change of the past 50 years can be explained without external forcing, and very likely that is not due to known natural causes alone." According to the report, "very likely" means "over 90% sure".
The report, which is to be made available today, and can be read here (via pdf) is the strongest language that the scientific group has ever used, and it points to the burning of fossil fuels as a main culprit. Before you dismiss this report, be aware that this group is said to be rather skeptical. According to Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria, "There's no question that the powerful language is intimately linked to the more powerful science. It's very conservative. Scientists by their nature are skeptics."
Apparently, all of the scientists quickly agreed that "attributing global warming to man-made burning of fossil fuels and connecting it to a recent increase in stronger hurricanes" was a no-brainer, as this was not a point of contention among any of them. China had the loudest resistance to including fossil-fuel burning in the report. The U.S. scientists were not said to have any problem with that.
Please, add your comments. I know that this is controversial, try to be reasonable whichever side you choose to believe. Remember how important of an issue this is to the entire world.
- Is Washington pressing scientists to downplay global warming? Congress to investigate
- Editorial: So, since "global climate change" is official now...
[Source The I.P.C.C. via Yahoo]