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Subject: UN 95% certain humans are dominant cause of global warming rss

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col_w
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The below comes from this BBC article:

----

A landmark report says scientists are 95% certain that humans are the "dominant cause" of global warming since the 1950s.

The report by the UN's climate panel details the physical evidence behind climate change.

On the ground, in the air, in the oceans, global warming is "unequivocal", it explained.

It adds that a pause in warming over the past 15 years is too short to reflect long-term trends.

The panel warns that continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all aspects of the climate system.

To contain these changes will require "substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions".

After a week of intense negotiations in the Swedish capital, the summary for policymakers on the physical science of global warming has finally been released.

The first part of an IPCC trilogy, due over the next 12 months, this dense, 36-page document is considered the most comprehensive statement on our understanding of the mechanics of a warming planet.

It states baldly that, since the 1950s, many of the observed changes in the climate system are "unprecedented over decades to millennia".

Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth's surface, and warmer than any period since 1850, and probably warmer than any time in the past 1,400 years.

"Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and that concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased," said Qin Dahe, co-chair of IPCC working group one, who produced the report.

Speaking at a news conference in the Swedish capital, Prof Thomas Stocker, another co-chair, said that climate change "challenges the two primary resources of humans and ecosystems, land and water. In short, it threatens our planet, our only home".

Since 1950, the report's authors say, humanity is clearly responsible for more than half of the observed increase in temperatures.

But a so-called pause in the increase in temperatures in the period since 1998 is downplayed in the report. The scientists point out that this period began with a very hot El Nino year.

"Trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends," the report says.

Prof Stocker, added: "I'm afraid there is not a lot of public literature that allows us to delve deeper at the required depth of this emerging scientific question.

"For example, there are not sufficient observations of the uptake of heat, particularly into the deep ocean, that would be one of the possible mechanisms to explain this warming hiatus."

"Likewise we have insufficient data to adequately assess the forcing over the last 10-15 years to establish a relationship between the causes of the warming."

In its own words, the IPCC is there "to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts".

The offspring of two UN bodies, the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, it has issued four heavyweight assessment reports to date on the state of the climate.

These are commissioned by the governments of 195 countries, essentially the entire world. These reports are critical in informing the climate policies adopted by these governments.

The IPCC itself is a small organisation, run from Geneva with a full time staff of 12. All the scientists who are involved with it do so on a voluntary basis.

However, the report does alter a key figure from the 2007 study. The temperature range given for a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere, called equilibrium climate sensitivity, was 2.0C to 4.5C in that report.

In the latest document, the range has been changed to 1.5C to 4.5C. The scientists say this reflects improved understanding, better temperature records and new estimates for the factors driving up temperatures.

In the summary for policymakers, the scientists say that sea level rise will proceed at a faster rate than we have experienced over the past 40 years. Waters are expected to rise, the document says, by between 26cm (at the low end) and 82cm (at the high end), depending on the greenhouse emissions path this century.

The scientists say ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting for 90% of energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010.

For the future, the report states that warming is projected to continue under all scenarios and is likely to exceed 1.5C by 2100.

"We have found in our assessment analysing these model simulation[s] that global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st Century is likely to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius relative to 1850 for all scenarios. This is a statement that is adopted by the governments of the world," Prof Stocker told reporters.

Prof Sir Brian Hoskins, from Imperial College London, told BBC News: "We are performing a very dangerous experiment with our planet, and I don't want my grandchildren to suffer the consequences of that experiment."

----

IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change 2013 - Summary for Policymakers

Poll: How likely do you think it is that humans are the dominant cause of global warming since 1950?
How likely do you think it is that humans are the dominant cause of global warming since 1950?
Definitely
Very likely
Likely
Unlikely
Very unlikely
Definitely not
No idea
      121 answers
Poll created by col_w
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Unfortunately it's a UN report, so any members of the tinfoil hat brigade that already think global warming is some big conspiracy hoax will probably just consider this to be a confirmation of their suspicions.
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J
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Drew, are you using the same old tinfoil hat, or are you onto to the latest model?
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Nah, I heard someone told drew it snowed so it can't possibly be real.
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Chad
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I have several issues with the IPCC report - well more the summary report than the actual behind the scenes science (because at the end of the day, science is science, facts are facts).

Number one is the fact that the summary report is not written by scientists but by policy makers. Blending policy and science - and then presenting the whole thing as science is a recipe for disaster - and allows the skeptics to gain purchase - the reporting over the last week has been almost embarrassing with politicians arguing over every single word - that is not science.

Number 2 is one that Drew pointed out - the summary document glosses over the 15 year "pause" - and does not admit that the science is actually not settled.

Number 3 is the fact that the IPCC seems not to have fixed many of the systematic issues identified in the 2010 audits - but on this one, more time is needed.

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Tobias Strobe
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The summary also failed to mention that Al Gore is a huge hypocrite because utilizes an aeroplane for rapid travel. He is also creepy, and his name is Algore, which is deadly-funny.

More than anything else, that proves that climate change is the biggest hoax since the Enlightenment.
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Chad
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Drew1365 wrote:
Utrecht wrote:
Number one is the fact that the summary report is not written by scientists but by policy makers. Blending policy and science - and then presenting the whole thing as science is a recipe for disaster - and allows the skeptics to gain purchase - the reporting over the last week has been almost embarrassing with politicians arguing over every single word - that is not science.


Psst. It never was science. It has always been about politics.


Agree 100% on the Summary Report - and the point that I was trying to make - and this is a seeming blind spot for the defenders of the IPCC/Green World Order.
 
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Mac Mcleod
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On a related note:

Building in the flood path of rivers causes flooding events to do a lot of damage.

[img][/img]

Notice how a relatively small amount of planning and parkland set asides would have prevented almost all the damage. And these "once in a thousand year" rains occurred during the previous 100 years so it's not like the tsunami's in japan.

---

OTH, I thought we all agreed global warming was real-- the debate is the extent that humans are the cause and that they can make changes which would address global warming.

I lean towards humans being a part of the cause ( Given that the climate has fluctuated over the last 1000 years, I can't say that there isn't another cycle in play too).

However, I do not think humans will realistically be able to do anything when they are going to increase the number of humans by another 50% over only the next 37 years. Especially since the standard of living of many people is rising dramatically.

So something bad will happen. Just not sure when.

 
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Dan Schaeffer
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Utrecht wrote:
I have several issues with the IPCC report - well more the summary report than the actual behind the scenes science (because at the end of the day, science is science, facts are facts).

Number one is the fact that the summary report is not written by scientists but by policy makers.


Are you certain of that? It says it's a summary for policymakers, and it lists the drafting and contributing authors, but it's not clear that the authors are not scientists.

Quote:
Number 2 is one that Drew pointed out - the summary document glosses over the 15 year "pause" - and does not admit that the science is actually not settled.


There's this:

Quote:
The observed reduction in surface warming trend over the period 1998–2012 as compared to the period 1951–2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle. However, there is low confidence in quantifying the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing the reduced warming trend. There is medium confidence that internal decadal variability causes to a substantial degree the difference between observations and the simulations; the latter are not expected to reproduce the timing of internal variability. There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols). {9.4, Box 9.2, 10.3, Box 10.2, 11.3}


I'd like to see the actual report and what it says about this "pause," (though I'm not sure why a 15 year "pause" is more significant than the longer history of rising temperatures). But overall, I think the entire summary says that the science is not settled, but that some conclusions can be given higher probability with higher confidence.

Quote:
Number 3 is the fact that the IPCC seems not to have fixed many of the systematic issues identified in the 2010 audits - but on this one, more time is needed.


Which issues, and why do you say they have not been fixed?
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J
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maxo-texas wrote:
OTH, I thought we all agreed global warming was real-- the debate is the extent that humans are the cause and that they can make changes which would address global warming.

No, the whackjobs still deny it all together.
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Mac Mcleod
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jmilum wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
OTH, I thought we all agreed global warming was real-- the debate is the extent that humans are the cause and that they can make changes which would address global warming.

No, the whackjobs still deny it all together.


The overall trend is up. But- the temperature could now drop for 35 years like it did after 1945.

That would make it really hard to deal with the overall trend in time.
 
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Drew1365 wrote:
Aw, yer just a teabagger denialator!

If the tinfoil hat fits...
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Bojan Ramadanovic
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"95% human caused" is one gigantic thesis-shift which does make one very suspicious about the agenda and methods of whomever is putting out that summary report.

Physics of greenhouse effect is pretty solid and humans *are* emitting green-house gases therefore it is mostly uncontroversial that humans are - in some sense - causing warming effect.

What *is* controversial is the extent and significance of this effect. Greenhouse effect by itself should - at current CO2 trends - produce warming of about 1C by the end of the century, which is relevant but entirely managable.

Where things get interesting is when people start adding feedback effects, both positive and negative. Science of those is *not* at all settled and quite a few modern studies/models seem to indicate that studies used in earlier versions of the UN reports over-estimated the positive feedback and/or underestimated negative ones.

As a result - scientific "concensus" (insofar as such a beast can exist on a difficult and open question" is closer to "AGW is real but less dramatic then previously thought".

Think that could have made it as a UN report headline - neither do I.

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Ken
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Utrecht wrote:
and does not admit that the science is actually not settled.


Please demonstrate that this is true.
 
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Ken
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bramadan wrote:
produce warming of about 1C by the end of the century, which is relevant but entirely managable.


That depends on how an average of 1C increase is actually distributed around the globe. The polar regions have been seeing dramatically more rapid change than the equator, and since that's where there's a bunch of ice sheets are with the potential to raise sea levels in dramatic fashion. If the Greenland ice sheet goes altogether (not likely tomorrow, but a possibility over the long haul), for example, it alone contains sufficient water to add 20 feet to sea levels. I'd have to go digging, but I recall the Antarctic ice sheet holding sufficient water to add over 180 feet to sea level.

1C sounds like not so much. But it's less than that at the equator and more than that at the poles. And the poles are more likely to create issues.
 
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jeremy cobert
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so how do people explain the last 15 years of global cooling ? the warming we saw in the 80s is now over.
 
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jeremycobert wrote:
so how do people explain the last 15 years of global cooling ? the warming we saw in the 80s is now over.

There's no need to explain it since there hasn't been 15 years of global cooling.
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jeremy cobert
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perhaps you have not been following this lately, but yes we need only a few more years of global cool which will put it at 15 years which is officially a "trend".The warming trend of the past 30 years has stopped and in fact global temperatures have leveled off since 2001.


 
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I have been following it, the is no global cooling occuring. I'm not sure where you are getting that from?
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jeremycobert wrote:
...and in fact global temperatures have leveled off since 2001.


# 1 - "leveling off" is not cooling.

#2 - there area number of explanations for why atmospheric temperatures have stopped rising, notably that oceanic temperatures appear to be rising instead.

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jeremy cobert
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the ultra liberal University of Wisconsin seems to agree, we are going into a cooling period.
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/57789
 
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jeremycobert wrote:
the ultra liberal University of Wisconsin seems to agree, we are going into a cooling period.
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/57789
one professor does not make the University of Wisconsin. Also the CFP is hardly an unbiased source.
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jeremycobert wrote:
the ultra liberal University of Wisconsin seems to agree, we are going into a cooling period.
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/57789


Wow. That's one crappy article.

Why don't you read Judith Curry's blog to see what she actually says rather than the misquoted garbage in that article. ETA: From the "About" page there, you can also find testimony she provided to Congress that makes it clear she believes the science behind climate change, but has issues with some IPCC consensus-building work that may now be oversimplifying the issue.

The also get the U of WI results wrong. Note the bolded sentence that says "we are not talking about cooling..."

I'm shocked, shocked to find that this reporter took stuff out of context, used it incorrectly, and that this supported his position.
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Bojan Ramadanovic
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perfalbion wrote:
bramadan wrote:
produce warming of about 1C by the end of the century, which is relevant but entirely managable.


That depends on how an average of 1C increase is actually distributed around the globe. The polar regions have been seeing dramatically more rapid change than the equator, and since that's where there's a bunch of ice sheets are with the potential to raise sea levels in dramatic fashion. If the Greenland ice sheet goes altogether (not likely tomorrow, but a possibility over the long haul), for example, it alone contains sufficient water to add 20 feet to sea levels. I'd have to go digging, but I recall the Antarctic ice sheet holding sufficient water to add over 180 feet to sea level.

1C sounds like not so much. But it's less than that at the equator and more than that at the poles. And the poles are more likely to create issues.


When you get to the distribution of warming you are back in the land of non-linear models and huge uncertainties.
That said, 2C threshold for "dangerous impact" that was quoted in the previous UN reports does include the considerations of more polar distribution and to reach 2C you need *lots* of positive feedback on top of physical greenhouse.

I am not saying you can't possibly have that sort of feedback but I am saying that a lot of people are backtracking their model predictions for "status-quo" warming from 3-3.5C to 2-2.5C and given how important 2C was as a psychological barrier I would not be shocked to see it revised somewhat further too.

All along it will be perfectly possible to say, AGW 98.7% real - we totally did not fuck it up...
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