Monday, August 20, 2007

And finally...

On October 15th - Blog Action Day, bloggers around the web
will unite to put a single important issue on everyone's mind:
ENVIRONMENT

My last reply to Raymond Poon over his "scientific doubts", in which I've included links to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports and EEA (European Environment Agency) materials:

Raymond, I've saved you the bother of looking up the actual report on man-made climate change's scientific basis from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change). If you even just to go the Summary for Policymakers from their lengthy "Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis" report (http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Pub_SPM-v2.pdf), you'll find that the international scientific community has agreed on the following:

"The primary source of the increased atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since the pre-industrial period results from fossil fuel use, with land-use change providing another significant but smaller contribution." (IPCC, 2007, p.2)

"The understanding of anthropogenic* warming and cooling influences on climate has improved since the TAR, leading to very high confidence7 that the global average net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming, with a radiative forcing of +1.6 [+0.6 to +2.4] W m–2 (see Figure SPM.2). {2.3., 6.5, 2.9}" (IPCC, 2007, p. 3)

*For those who may not know, "anthropogenic" means "human-related".

So Raymond, what are your facts and figures upon which you base your doubts? Do you know what your kind of pessimistic inaction is costing us in terms of time???

"The latest IPCC report on climate change estimates that there are only TWO DECADES (my emphasis) to implement effective greenhouse gas reduction measures to control and limit global temperature increases. 'The sooner we act, the more effective and cost efficient efforts at controlling climate change will be,' said Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA*." (source: http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/action-now-on-climate-change-makes-economic-sense)

*EEA stands for European Environment Agency, a European Union organisation "dedicated to providing sound, independent information on the environment", with 31 member countries (25 EU member states, plus Bulgaria, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Romania and Turkey).

Also, to supplement sources for the technological advances I've mentioned in my last post, go to the European Union's Environmental Technology Atlas (an interactive web information service that allows people to see what kinds of eco-technologies have been installed and what kinds of environmental research agencies are located in the different EU member states):

http://technologies.ewindows.eu.org/atlas_map

Raymond, please just admit that you're adopting the Doubting Thomas stance because you just don't care to change. It'll save us all a lot of time.

Follow-up Post:

Also, in case you would accuse me of only reading the easy intro bits of the Report, here's the conclusions from the IPCC Report's section (9.7) entitled "Combining Evidence of Anthropogenic Climate Change":

"The widespread change detected in temperature observations of the surface(Sections 9.4.1, 9.4.2, 9.4.3), free atmosphere (Section 9.4.4) and ocean (Section 9.5.1), together with consistent evidence of change in other parts of the climate system (Section 9.5), strengthens the conclusion that greenhouse gas forcing is the dominant cause of warming during the past several decades. This combined evidence, which is summarised in Table 9.4, is substantially stronger than the evidence that is available from observed changes in global surface temperature alone (Figure 3.6). The evidence from surface temperature observations is strong: The observed warming is highly significant relative to estimates of internal climate variability which, while obtained from models, are consistent with estimates obtained from both instrumental data and palaeoclimate reconstructions. It is extremely unlikely (<5%)that recent global warming is due to internal variability alone such as might arise from El Niño (Section 9.4.1)." (IPCC, 2007, p. 727)

And also,

"Climate models only reproduce the observed 20th-century global mean surface warming when both anthropogenic and natural forcings are included (Figure 9.5). No model that has used natural forcing only has reproduced the observed global mean warming trend or the continental mean warming trends in all individual continents (except Antarctica) over the second half of the 20th century. Detection and attribution of external influences on 20th-century and palaeoclimatic reconstructions, from both natural and anthropogenic sources (Figure 9.4 and Table 9.4), further strengthens the conclusion that the observed changes are very unusual relative to internal climate variability." (ibid.)

Above quotes drawn from Section 9 of the IPCC Working Group 1 "The Physical Basis of Climate Change" report (section heading: "Understanding and Attributing Climate Change"):

http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Pub_Ch09.pdf

The entire contents of the report can be downloaded from here:

http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html

The IPCC 4th Assessment Report is due out in November, 2007. This has:

2500+ Scientific Expert Reviewers

800+ Contributing Authors and

450+ Lead Authors from

130+ Different Countries

More info: http://www.ipcc.ch/

Update: I've also included an advance apology to Raymond regarding my unnecessarily harsh tone in my comments... I guess I've been losing patience as it's sooooo late in the night (or early in the morning... as my insomniac life has returned!)

Last but not least, Raymond, I would like to sincerely apologise in advance for my tone in the last couple of comments. In places I've sounded rather strident and self-righteous, whereas you've remained civil throughout our exchange, please forgive me for my totally unnecessary crassness. Thank you for providing the space to allow this debate to occur on your blog, and I do still hope that you could see through to the facts underneath my rather unpleasant tone...

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