Climate change is here. It is unstoppable. It is warming the atmosphere, acidifying oceans and increasing sea levels. And it will get worse as humans, who have already burnt half of all available carbon in our quest for goods and energy, continue to burn fossil fuels.
These were the definitive conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released this month, authored by scientists worldwide as a wake-up call for governments to begin finding alternatives to precious, yet greenhouse-gas emitting, fossil fuel resources.
After the IPCC released its last report in 2007, it received criticism for what some said was an exaggeration of the rate of glacial melting, and global warming evidence has come up against data that shows some slowing in the loss of polar sea ice.
The IPCC says the trend was temporarily hidden by data from a warm year in 1998 including an El Nino event in the Pacific, the impact of volcanic eruptions, and a cyclical decline in the sun’s output. They said the reduction will not last, and that temperatures will likely rise by 0.5 F to 1.3 F by 2035, depending on mankind’s continued fossil fuel output. Make that between 2.7 F to 8.1 F by the end of the century, if carbon output doubles.