Climate Change: Much Worse than Predicted

Earlier today, 26 of the world's leading climate scientists released a report entitled The Copenhagen Diagnosis. It's an update of what we have learned about global warming since the IPCC's fourth report in 2007.

What does it tell us? That climate change is accelerating beyond all expectations.

The report took over a year to complete, and here's some of the new evidence the authors have uncovered (I'm quoting the bullet points from the press release):
  • Satellite and direct measurements now demonstrate that both the Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass and contributing to sea level rise at an increasing rate.

  • Arctic sea-ice has melted far beyond the expectations of climate models. For example, the area of summer sea-ice melt during 2007-2009 was about 40% greater than the average projection from the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

  • Sea level has risen more than 5 centimeters over the past 15 years, about 80% higher than IPCC projections from 2001. Accounting for ice-sheets and glaciers, global sea-level rise may exceed 1 meter by 2100, with a rise of up to 2 meters considered an upper limit by this time. This is much higher than previously projected by the IPCC. Furthermore, beyond 2100, sea level rise of several meters must be expected over the next few centuries.

  • In 2008 carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels were ~40% higher than those in 1990. Even if emissions do not grow beyond today’s levels, within just 20 years the world will have used up the allowable emissions to have a reasonable chance of limiting warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
The report concludes that if we don't take immediate action to reduce our carbon emissions, we won't be able to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Yes, but how does that jive with what Lorne Gunter was squawking about in today's Leader Post? Well, it doesn't. Why? Because Gunter is hopelessly confused and misled on the science of climate change. (I say "confused and misled" because the alternative is that he's lying.)

Look, I just haven't got time right now to tear apart all of Gunter's latest nonsense. Suffice to say, that everytime I've gone off to fact check one of his anti-science screeds, I've found that his opinions are based on a misreading of scientific reality. Usually, all he is doing is parroting the talking points being issued from propaganda machines such as the Friends of Science.

I'll post more later. But in the meantime, you can read some actual science on climate change by reading the Copenhagen Diagnosis. Unlike this hacked-email circus Gunter was crowing about, this report is probably the most important thing you'll read about this year.

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