Scientists fine-tune latest report on climate change’s impacts
Now "fewer uncertainties about the serious consequences of inaction"
Government representatives and scientists opened a meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sept. 23 in Stockholm, where they plan to finalize their latest report on climate change and its causes.
This first part of the report, which will be released in October 2014, deals with the physical science basis of climate change and, among other things, will look at global average air and ocean temperatures, melting of snow and ice, and global sea level changes.
As for the scientific evidence for man-made climate change has strengthened year by year, it’s been “leaving fewer uncertainties about the serious consequences of inaction, despite the fact that there remain knowledge gaps and uncertainties in some areas of climate science,” said Qin Dahe, co-chair of the report’s working group.
A 30-page summary of the report for policymakers is due to be released Sept. 27 online, with the full report released in unedited form Sept. 30 and published online in January 2014.
The report builds on the four previous assessment reports produced by the IPCC since it was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program to report on all aspects of climate change and its impacts, “with a view of formulating realistic response strategies,” according to its website.
In the 2007 IPCC report, scientists said Arctic infrastructure and indigenous people are likely to suffer “detrimental impacts” from global warming and that rising temperatures would also hurt migratory birds and mammals in the polar region.
They cautioned the world has only 30 years to stop climate change.
But some of the message from that report was diluted over criticisms about its accuracy: the report contained some inaccuracies, including an incorrect statement that glaciers in the Himalayas would disappear by 2035.
Since then, the IPCC underwent an independent review, which suggested more openness and better review of material.
The Sept. 27 summary report is said to also consider solutions to global warming, which include proposals to inject aerosols into clouds which would make the clouds reflect sunlight, and maintain colder temperatures on the earth’s surface.
Geo-engineering can have “unintended side-effects and long-term consequences on a global scale”, a draft copy of the report is quoted as saying.