An international congregation of scientists have come to the conclusion that climate change is almost definitely caused by human behavior. These claims come in the wake of a leaked report, authored by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who caution climate change may worsen significantly if action is not taken.
The IPCC is involved in collecting, assorting and interpreting scientific publications, regarding global warming, and publish their overall findings every five to six years. This latest report will be the fifth publication of its kind. Back in 2007, the group even shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore for their efforts in teaching the world about the perils of climate change.
A leaked IPCC report summary, the full version of which is due to be released in sections, was recently acquired by Reuters. The draft work seems to echo the same sentiments that have been released on previous occasions, where similar IPCC reports were released.
A number of climate change experts argue the findings play down the influence of global warming, and its potential impact. For example, where the report indicates a sea-level increase of three feet, by the turn of this century, other scientists speculate this prediction to be far too conservative.
A spokesperson for the IPCC offered words of caution to BBC News, citing the leaked report to be incomplete, and intimated that further amendments were likely to take place before its official release:
“It is guaranteed it will change… In September, the scientists will go through the 15-page summary for policymakers, line by line.”
In its incomplete state, the leaked IPCC report suggests that the global elevation in temperature has led to a consequential increase in the temperature of Earth’s waters, propagating the melting of ice caps, leading to a rise in sea levels. The report also mentions a carbon dioxide increase of 40 percent, since 1750. It places the blame of climate change almost solely on human behavior, primarily centering around deforestation practices and the combustion of fossil fuel sources. The future implications of our time on Earth could have dire consequence, leading to oceanic acidification, alterations to the water cycle and sea level changes.
Opponents of the global warming theory, however, maintain that breaks in temperature rise disprove this theory. In addition, a number of scientists point to a cyclic change in temperature based upon a number of factors, including the transient appearance of sunspots. Other scientists challenge the impact of slight temperature changes, indicating more extreme changes have been witnessed in the distant past (over 12,000 years ago), without human intervention, but failed to impact upon the environment on a long-term basis.
On top of this, the IPCC’s reports have suffered from a number of embarrassing errors, leading to the scientific community to question their authority. One of the previous reports claimed that the glaciers of the Himalayas would disappear by 2035. The IPCC then had to quickly retract this statement, admitting the details were “poorly substantiated estimates.”
Another highly controversial issue focused upon leading scientists doctoring their data to yield misleading interpretations of climate change, following a series of email leaks. Ultimately, however, these allegations were proven to be falsified.
Since the last report was published, the IPCC’s international body of scientists seem to indicate they are more certain than ever that mankind is responsible for the majority of global warming; whereas the certainty had, previously, been placed at 90%, the latest report has leapt up to 95%.
The latest leaks come as no surprise. Almost anybody that claims to have a background in climate change affairs has been permitted to review the IPCC’s literature to ensure any embarrassing mistakes are circumvented in the future. This is a part of the IPCC’s latest strategy to be as open and honest about their findings, as is humanly possible, and to guarantee all scientific facts are accurate and well-informed.
Based upon the information leaked, thus far, it seems as though the latest IPCC report will be much of the same, with scientists continuing to place most of the blame on human behavior. Most academics appear to have reached a consensus on global warming and mankind’s culpability, with an uncertainty of only 5%.
By: James Fenner