By Scott Sutherland, Meteorologist
4 November 2014
(theweathernetwork.com) – It may not appear so, given its dire warning of "severe, widespread and irreversible" effects from climate change, but the latest IPCC report is really pulling its punches when it comes to delivering its message to the world.
This report, the Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report, is one that the world needs to take notice of, and needs to take seriously.
As the wrap-up of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 5th assessment of Earth's climate, it contains the final message and summary of the previous three reports issued over the past year - the Physical Science Basis, Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability and Mitigation of Climate Change.
On his Facebook page, Penn State climate scientist Michael E. Mann outlined the key points of the report, and the the difference between this and previous reports:
"The world’s scientists are more confident than ever that climate change is not only real and caused by us, but that it is already taking a toll: on our health, on our economy, on our security, and on the health of our environment. The good news is that it it still possible to solve the problem cheaply. But if we delay acting, it will be far more expensive, and the damages will be far greater.
"The latest report is far more definitive than the past reports in terms of the level of confidence that human activity in the form of fossil fuel burning is not only responsible for some of the warming of the globe, but in fact all of it. The report is far more definitive that climate change isn't some nebulous, far off threat—it is negatively impacting us already, where we live."
The stark warning contained within the Synthesis Report, which it delivers with high confidence, says:
"Without additional mitigation efforts beyond those in place today, and even with adaptation, warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally." [more]