The 4th IPCC report was released (summery for policy makers) last week. It provided the world with the the most compelling assertions that humans are causing climate change, scientists are now 95% certain that we are to blame. The debate is now over as far as the public and the media is concerned, or at least it should be. The only place where the debate should continue in peer reviewed journals, IF new data is found that contradicts the current consensus, and that is not likely to happen. The rest of us are simply not qualified to debate the science; in truth the rest of us do not really understand the complexities of the data, or the conclusions
The key IPCC findings
- It is very likely that human activities are causing global warming
- Probable temperature rise by the end of the century will be between 1.8C and 4C (3.2-7.2F)
- Possible temperature rise by the end of the century ranges between 1.1C and 6.4C (2-11.5F)
- Sea levels are likely to rise by 28-43cm
- Arctic summer sea ice is likely to disappear in second half of century
- It is very likely that parts of the world will see an increase in the number of heatwaves
- Climate change is likely to lead to increased intensity of tropical storms
Even though the debate is should be over, its not. Those trying to discredit the IPCC report are pulling out all the stops, and do everyone (expect certain corporate interests) a large disservice. We need to act now and begin to tackle climate change. Lobbying from think tanks (all with ties to big oil, and no published peer reviewed papers) is to be expected (it a shame people still take these think tanks seriously), but this is a new low:
A think tank partly funded by Exxon Mobil sent letters to scientists offering them up to $10,000 to critique findings in a major global warming study released Friday which found that global warming was real and likely caused by burning fossil fuels…
“It is a major problem that scientists make arguments against climate change…that they can’t back up [with] peer reviewed data,” said Shawnee Hoover, campaign director for ExxposeExxon.
Nothing gets at the truth of the matter like offering a bounty to scientists that reach a specific conclusion. I have said this many times, scientists can say what ever they want, but if it only counts as science if what they are saying is backed by peer reviewed data, anything else is just noise.