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Climate change

Dear Editor:

Last Friday, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) released their 2013 report on the current climate situation. These reports are produced every six years and present the results of the in depth study of climate from over 300 climate scientists from around the Globe.

A summary of the report can be viewed here: www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WG1AR5_Headlines.pdf.

The report reaffirms that the human influence on the planet’s dramatic warming is clear and beyond reproach. According to a press statement accompanying the release of the report:

“It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models.

Thomas Stocker, co-chair of the working group behind the report indicated that in order to prevent the worst case scenarios presented in the report for the century ahead, governments will need to take aggressive action.

“Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system,” Stocker said. “Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Essentially the report states that climate change is 95 to 100 percent certainly human caused. The main things noted are: a warming trend especially of the oceans; both icecaps are melting and glaciers are retreating throughout the planet. Ocean acidification has increased by 30 percent with very harmful effects to coral reefs and phytoplankton.

These trends will continue, creating extremes of drought, heavy rainfall and flooding. We are already noticing this here in Colorado and yet the mainstream media is not willing to “connect the dots” of extreme weather events to fossil fuel consumption and deforestation.

On June 24, 1988, 25 years ago, scientist James Hansen from NASA presented a warning to the Senate about the onset of global warming due to CO2 production and its potential consequences. It is interesting to read an article from the New York Times from that hearing as it is very similar to the language of the 2013 report from the IPCC (www.nytimes.com/1988/06/24/us/global-warming-has-begun-expert-tells-senate.html).

The attempt of the fossil fuel companies to cast doubt on the science is almost identical in its methodology to that of the tobacco companies attempting to confuse the connection between smoking and lung cancer, fifty years ago. I wonder if, 50 years hence we will look back and say, “Why didn’t we act sooner?”

Udgar Parsons

This story was posted on October 3, 2013.