Scientists Claim 95% Certainty that Humans are “Dominant Cause” of Global Warming

Saturday, September 28, 2013
Small ice figures by Nele Azevedo on the stairs of Gendarmenmardt in Berlin September 2, 2009 to symbolize effects of global warming (photo: Maya Hitij, AP)

Is it possible that humankind has had nothing to do with the development of global warming? Statistically, yes.


A United Nations-sponsored panel of international scientists that convened in Stockholm says it is 95% certain that humans are the “dominant cause” of global warming over the last six decades.


That leaves about a 5% chance for the naysayers to clutch onto, in the hope that nations, governments and businesses won’t have to change their ways to avoid a hotter, and more unstable planet.


But really, experts insist, it is the fault of people that temperatures keep going up, impacting Earth’s climate in compelling ways. Indeed, they say, more than half of the planet’s temperature increases have been caused by humans during the past six decades.


The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—considered to be a landmark study and the most definitive assessment to date of the dangers of climate change—states the physical evidence shows global warming is “unequivocal.” And that the nations of the world don’t have an unlimited amount of time to reverse this process before it’s too late.


Those who produced the report say “substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions” must take place within the next few decades.


Beginning in the 1980s, earth’s surface temperatures have increased in each succeeding decade, making the past 30 years warmer than any period since 1850, and probably warmer than any time in the past 1,400 years, Matt McGrath reported for BBC News.


The 36-page draft released by the IPCC is a summary of the groups’ full 900-page report, which is to be made public next week. It is the first part of a trilogy, with the two remaining reports scheduled to be released during the coming year.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman


To Learn More:

Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

IPCC Climate Report: Humans 'Dominant Cause' of Warming (by Matt McGrath, BBC News)

Climate Panel Says Upper Limit on Emissions Is Nearing (by Justin Gillis, New York Times)

IPCC Climate Report: Last-Minute Stockholm Talks Make Slow Progress (by Fiona Harvey, The Guardian)

520 Scientists Issue Statement with Solutions to Global Life Support Problems (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

Scientists Denying Human-Caused Climate Change Fade from Existence…Except in the Media (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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