Climate Change Report “Gives No Reason for Optimism”

From Inter Press service:  http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/09/climate-change-report-gives-no-reason-for-optimism/

By Fabiola Ortiz
RIO DE JANEIRO, Sep 28 2013 (IPS)

Amidst rumours that global warming has slowed over the past 15 years, the new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that each of the last three decades has been warmer than any preceding decade since 1850.

The warming of the climate is “unequivocal,” says the IPCC. “The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.”

 

The IPCC Working Group 1 Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Summary for Policy Makers – Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis was released Friday Sept. 27 in Stockholm.

 

The full in-depth report will be published Monday Sept. 30, as the first of the four volumes of the AR5.

 

Brazilian climatologist Carlos Nobre, one of the lead authors of the Fourth Assessment Report, published in 2007, said the new report “gives no reason for optimism.”

 

“Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1,400 years,” the new summary says.

 

“The globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature data, as calculated by a linear trend, show a warming of 0.85°C over the period 1880–2012”, it adds.

 

With respect to the supposed “pause” in the rise in temperatures, the IPCC says: “the rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05°C per decade), which begins with a strong El Niño [a cyclical climate phenomenon that affects weather patterns around the world], is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12°C) per decade.”

 

But, it argues, “Due to natural variability, trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends.”

 

And it sums up: “It is virtually certain that globally the troposphere has warmed since the mid-20th century.”

 

Nobre told IPS that “the report observes what is changing, in greater detail, and reduces uncertainties by means of updated scientific knowledge.”

 

It also confirms that climate change is principally due to human activity, added Nobre, secretary for R&D policy in Brazil’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

Continue reading at:  http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/09/climate-change-report-gives-no-reason-for-optimism/

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