The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is between 95 and 100 % confident that global warming is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions.
On Friday 27 September, the IPCC presented a summary of the first part of the fifth main report on climate change since 1990. The report itself was presented yesterday.
According to the IPCC the temperature will continue to rise, but has not increased as much in the last 15 years, as previously suggested. However, if emissions continue to increase significantly this century, the temperatures can rise by more than 4 degrees Celsius up to 2100. Large amounts of the ice in Greenland and at the poles have melted. The sea level will rise between 25 and 82 centimeters by 2100. The wet areas will get wetter and the dry areas drier, and there will be more extreme weather, but perhaps not as bad as previously thought. For Norway the climate change means extreme rainfall and sea level rise.
The response in Norway
However, the report shows that it is still possible to prevent the most serious consequences if the world’s nations agree on swift and deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The report shows that climate change up to 2100 will depend on emission levels ahead.
Some political parties and the environmental movement hopes that the report puts an end to the debate on whether climate change is manmade, and start the transition now. For example, Ola Elvestuen in the liberal party, says that politicians have to pursue policies that are consistent with the challenges we are facing. We still have the ability to prevent the most serious climate change, but we have to initiate the process of restructuring now.
Fredric Hauge, Bellona President, says that the report is an order from our globe. The order is to change course in climate politics, towards more full scale facilities for carbon capture and storage, more renewable energy, more energy efficiency, more money to ensure a transition within the industrial sector and more electric cars on the roads.
Read the other Norwegian environment organization’s comments on the report here.
The IPCC report
This first part of the report is a status on the research done on earth’s climate, how the climate system works, and how we human’s is changing it. The second and the third part of the report will come in 2014, and looks at the climate change’s effects on society, and how we can limit the effects.
The IPCC is a body established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1988. Participation is offered to all countries that are members of either the UN or WMO. The main mandate is to provide assessments of the world’s total knowledge about climate change and its effects. IPCC’s first assessment report came in 1990, the fourth in 2007, and the fifth is thus today.
To learn more about the process writing the report, click here.
Photo by: World Economic Forum (Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)