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Climate - Dec 19

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Leaked IPCC Draft Report: Recent Warming Is Manmade, Cloud Feedback Is Positive, Inaction Is Suicidal

Joe Romm, Think Progress

 The draft 2013 Fifth Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeleaked this week makes clear inaction on climate change would be devastating to modern civilization. The report finds that the human fingerprint on climate has grown more obvious, concluding “it is virtually certain” the energy imbalance that causes global warming “is caused by human activities, primarily by the increase in CO2 concentrations. There is very high confidence that natural forcing contributes only a small fraction to this imbalance.”

Yes, I know, the easily-duped deniers and their media stooges have reported the opposite is true, that solar forcing has been a significant driver of recent warming, but the deniers are as likely to be right as the flat earthers. The only question is why anyone still listens to them. I’ll repost a debunking of their nonsense below.

The draft Summary for Policymakers (the only thing 99% of people will ever read) finds:
It is extremely likely [">95% probability"] that human activities have causedmore than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature since the 1950s. There is high confidence ["About 8 out of 10 chance"] that this has caused large-scale changes in the ocean, in the cryosphere, and in sea level in the second half of the 20th century. Some extreme events have changed as a result of anthropogenic influence.
That multiply-hedged morass is pretty much the mildest statement that could possibly be made. A December 2011 study found it’s “Extremely Likely That at Least 74% of Observed Warming Since 1950″ was manmade; it’s highly likely all of it was (see Figure 1 below).
For me, the leaked draft, which has not yet been peer reviewed — and thus still has time to be watered down yet more – underscores how pointless the IPCC has become. Like the 4th assessment before it, this ultra-conservative and instantly obsolete report ignores the latest science — see “Fifth Assessment Report Will Ignore Crucial Permafrost Carbon Feedback!” Note that including the permafrost feedback would probably make the RCP8.5 scenario in the top figure as much as 1.5°F warmer!...

(16 December 2012)


What leaked IPCC report really says on climate change

Michael Marshall and Fred Pearce, New Scientist
A draft of a major report on climate change, due to be published next year, has been leaked online...

A draft version was leaked online by Alec Rawls, a US blogger who signed up to be an expert reviewer of the next report – something anyone can do...

Rawls highlights a paragraph on page 43 of chapter 7, which he claims undermines the report's main conclusion – that human activity is the main driver of climate change...

Climate scientists are lining up to debunk this claim. "They're misunderstanding, either deliberately or otherwise, what that sentence is meant to say," says Joanna Haigh of Imperial College London, who studies the effect of solar activity on the Earth...
(17 December 2012)


Why Climate Change Denial Is Just Hot Air

Phil Plait, Slate
I was thinking of writing a lengthy post about climate change denial being completely unscientific nonsense, but then geochemist and National Science Board member James Lawrence Powell wrote a post that is basically a slam-dunk of debunking. His premise was simple: If global warming isn’t real and there’s an actual scientific debate about it, that should be reflected in the scientific journals.

He looked up how many peer-reviewed scientific papers were published in professional journals about global warming, and compared the ones supporting the idea that we’re heating up compared to those that don’t. What did he find? This:


Image credit: James Lawrence Powell
(11 December 2012)


States Threaten EPA Over Petroleum Industry Methane Emissions

ENS Newswire
Seven states Tuesday notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of their intent to sue the agency for violating the Clean Air Act by failing to address emissions of the greenhouse gas methane by the oil and natural gas industry.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leading a coalition of seven states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont in this legal action, which requires a 60-day notice of intent to sue.

“We simply can’t continue to ignore the evidence of climate change or the catastrophic threat that unabated greenhouse gas pollution poses to our families, our communities and our economy,” said Schneiderman...

In making their case, the seven states point out that the oil and gas industry is the single largest emitter of human-caused methane in the United States and the second largest industrial source of domestic greenhouse gas emissions behind only electric power plants.

The EPA has found that climate change caused, in part, by methane has “increased air and ocean temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, melting and thawing of global glaciers and ice, increasingly severe weather events – such as hurricanes of greater intensity – and sea level rise.” In 2009, EPA determined that methane and other greenhouse gases endanger the public’s health and welfare.

The EPA’s decision not to directly address the emissions of methane from oil and natural gas operations, including hydrofracking, leaves nearly 95 percent of these emissions uncontrolled...
(12 December 2012)


Ask Bill McKibben Anything

Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast
Readers ask the environmentalist and author whether it's too late to ward off climate change, how we can prepare for the worst, and how to save the world.


(11 December 2012)
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