United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases 5th Assessment Report, latest assessment of climate science for first time in 6 years

The IPCC finally published the first of three volumes of its Fifth Assessment Report (5AR). Edward Davey, the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said:

The message of this report is clear – the Earth’s climate has warmed over the last century and man-made greenhouse gases have caused much of that global warming. The gases emitted now are accumulating in the atmosphere and so the solutions must be set in motion today. The risks and costs of doing nothing today are so great, only a deeply irresponsible government would be so negligent.

{IMAGE VIA - rtcc.org} "Without urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions this warming will continue, with potentially dangerous impacts upon our societies and economy. This strengthens the case for international leaders to work for an ambitious, legally binding global agreement in 2015 to cut carbon emissions.

{IMAGE VIA rtcc.org} “Without urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions this warming will continue, with potentially dangerous impacts upon our societies and economy. This strengthens the case for international leaders to work for an ambitious, legally binding global agreement in 2015 to cut carbon emissions.

This report is the most authoritative, credible analysis of climate change science ever. It represents a huge amount of work by over 250 unpaid scientific experts drawn from universities and research institutes in 39 different countries around the world. We owe them our gratitude because this report makes clear what is at stake if we don’t act.”

The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, also conveyed the urgency of addressing the report's latest findings.

The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, also conveyed the urgency of addressing the report’s latest findings.

Hague said:

“The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s latest assessment of the science confirms that climate change is already happening, as a result of human activity. The odds of extreme weather events, which threaten lives and property, have increased. Sea levels are rising, and ice is melting faster than we expected. The IPCC’s report makes clear that unless we act now to reduce carbon emissions, all this will continue to worsen in coming decades. Governments, businesses and individuals all have a responsibility to tackle climate change. The longer we delay, the higher the risks and the greater the costs to present and future generations.”

Highlights from the AR5 Summary Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident in most regions of the globe. Warming in the climate system is unequivocal. Global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is projected to be likely to exceed 1.5°C relative to 1850 to 1900 in all but the lowest scenario considered, and likely to exceed 2°C for the two high scenarios Projections of climate change are based on a new set of four scenarios of future greenhouse gas concentrations and aerosols, spanning a wide range of possible futures. The Working Group I report assessed global and regional-scale climate change for the early, mid-, and later 21st century.

Highlights from the AR5 Summary
Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident in most regions of the globe.
Warming in the climate system is unequivocal.
Global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is projected to be likely to exceed 1.5°C relative to 1850 to 1900 in all but the lowest scenario considered, and likely to exceed 2°C for the two high scenarios
Projections of climate change are based on a new set of four scenarios of future greenhouse gas concentrations and aerosols, spanning a wide range of possible futures. The Working Group I report assessed global and regional-scale climate change for the early, mid-, and later 21st century.

The Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, Neil Morisetti, also recognised the importance of this comprehensive body of evidence, and agreed that the report:

“…plays a fundamental role in reinforcing the need to respond to a changing climate and will be used by governments around the world to inform their response to one of the greatest threats we face. The wide range of evidence reinforces what we have known for some time: the world continues to get warmer as the climate changes. Extreme weather events are already happening more frequently. Unless we take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low carbon, resource effective world, we are likely to see at least a two degree, and potentially as much as five degree, rise in global temperatures by the end of this century. This represents a fundamental risk to global stability and prosperity. The need for global action now is clear.”

The report concludes that the scientific evidence is clear – human activity has caused the warming of the climate system over the last century. This is unequivocal, and associated climate changes have been widely observed.

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Comments

add a comment

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.