Feeds

IPCC report: no surprises, not much hope either

The climate is a-changin'

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Humanity is "very likely" to blame for global warming and, regardless of what action is taken now, recent increases in atmospheric carbon will have a profound effect on the planet.

In the first of a series of four reports to be published this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has fingered humans as the culprits in global warming, with a probability of more than 90 per cent.

Climate Change 2007: the Physical Science Basis warns that by the end of this century we can expect sea levels to rise by between 28cm and 43cm, that increased temperatures (between 1.4°C and 4°C globally) would lead to more frequent and powerful tropical storms.

Co-author Kevin Trenberth, director of climate analysis for the National Centre for Atmospheric Research said the warming of the planet "is not something you can just stop", and that in 100 years time the planet will have a very different climate.

But Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society stressed that this is no carte blanche for politicians to elect to do nothing.

He said: "The IPCC strongly emphasises that substantial climate change is inevitable – and we will have to adapt to this. It also highlights the enormous cost of not doing anything. This should compel all of us – world leaders, businesses and individuals – towards action rather than the paralysis of fear."

The report, published today, is not the full scientific report: that is not expected until the summer. It is, in fact, a 21 page summary written by scientists and politicians and designed to inform policy makers.

Register readers inform us that the science "has yet to be edited to agree with the conclusions", but we detect a slightly sarcastic undertone in their typing.

Benny Peiser, a professor of anthropology at Liverpool University, and a vocal critic of the consensus view of global warming, said that regardless of the conclusions, there were still massive problems to be overcome before the issues raised in the report could be tackled.

He told us: "What the report won't be able to do, however, is to come up with any consensus on what to do about climate change. The economics of climate change and climate policy remain - as ever - the most contentious problem."

A paper published in the journal Science compared predictions about global temperatures from the 2001 IPCC report with what has actually happened. The IPCC said global temperatures would rise between 0.25°C and 0.35°C; they have actually risen by 0.33°C, close to the top end of the predicted range.

Meanwhile, sea level has risen much faster than predictions, leading some to speculate that the IPCC scientists have been too conservative in their forecasting so far. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.