So for those of you who come to my blog for your environmental news (which, in hindsight, would be a terrible idea for I post far too irregularly to properly do the topic justice – sorry folks), I decided to provide you with a little bit of current events. Today, September 27th, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released part of its fifth climate change assessment – the full, 2,000-page document to go public this coming Monday. How’s that for current?
Now, this assessment is actually a really big deal. The IPCC is made up over 800 scientists from around the globe and they get their facts from over 9,000 publications. Pretty much, they’re about as reputable as they come. So what new and, regrettably, depressing conclusions did the IPCC come to? Among them the following:
“Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.”
How is this new information? you may wonder. Well it really isn’t but the more facts and studies we have to back up this claim, the more likely people are to come to their senses and realize the severity of our situation.
The IPCC did, however, come up with some new information. For starters, they said they didn’t expect to see the increase in temperature slowing down in the next 15 years, as many reputable studies have been suggesting, but rather that the warming is going to be going on long beyond that. On a more optimistic note, they also released the first established budget for the amount carbon that can be released into the atmosphere…though, regrettably, we are already more than half way through that quota…
Okay, that got a bit depressing. But this really is exciting news guys, promise! We live in a cynical society; I can admit that because I too am a cynic. But having official assessments like the IPCC’s is where we start to validate our concerns. Having the international community join together to brainstorm and hold each other accountable? That’s a start. That’s progress. That’s the seeds of change.