The new assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been published today. It draws together, reviews and summaries research on climate change from over 9,000 published sources around the world. It is the most complete and up to date source of information on the science of climate change.
Among the highlights are the following:
- It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
- Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia.
- Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.
The assessment finds that:
- the atmosphere and ocean have warmed,
- the amount of snow and ice has diminished
- the global mean sea level has risen
- the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased. Looking forward the report predicts.
- global warming of between 1.5°C and 2°C relative to 1850 to 1900.
- heat waves are very likely to occur more frequently and last longer, currently wet regions receiving more rainfall, and dry regions receiving less, although there will be exceptions.
- as the ocean warms, and glaciers and ice sheets reduce, global mean sea level will continue to rise, but at a faster rate than we have experienced over the past 40 years.
The effects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 stop.
You can find out more about the report at www.climatechange2013.org
Climate Change Officer, Church of Scotland
27 September 2013