Just when the weather was cooling down in the Middle East a little, we get woke up again with the usual alarm and this time from a United Nations panel: humankind is to blame for global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns in a new report just out. Rising temperatures could have devastating effects on our people and planet as the risk carries with it new heat waves, floods, and drought. If you weren’t convinced before the 95 percent certainty of the UN group was issued, now is your time to wake up and take action.
The group came to its conclusions behind closed doors, as the 195 UN member states summed up their report – a mammoth 1,000 plus page document. Prospects for our planet in peril are even more dire than what was predicted by the group back in 2007.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also known as IPCC, says it is 95 percent certain that mankind caused more than half the warming observed over the past 60 years.
Our human existence and material needs produce amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) which goes on to heat up the atmosphere.
What’s the deal? Well if you haven’t heard already, sea levels are expected to rise, but now at a faster pace. See this little art project to imagine what will happen. We have a report on what’s expected for North Africa. And based on what we have read, cities like Alexandria are most certainly at immediate risk. By 2100 the sea levels are expected to rise between 26 and 82 centimeters – that’s almost a whole meter!
“We know much more about the reasons for rising sea levels now than we did a couple years ago,” said climate researcher Stefan Ramstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Measurements show that both large continental ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic are increasingly losing ice masses.”
It is the group’s fifth assessment report on climate change.
Meanwhile global warming will continue.
They write in the report: “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 1400 years.”
“To steer humanity out of the high danger zone, governments must step up immediate climate action and craft an agreement in 2015 that helps to scale up” efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, said.
We’ve already being seeing freaky weather patterns around the world as our planet revolts against the effects of increased CO2.
“The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. CO2 concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions. The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification,” the report elucidates.
Over all we can expect that humid regions will get more rain while dry regions, like in the Middle East, will get even less water. Shit. Not a great forecast for us.
If you are keen on reading the summary report to push it into the faces of your local governments, find it online here (links to PDF). The IPCC is located here. The almost two hour meeting can be seen in a recorded webcast format here.