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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

The New York Times today has a story on a climate change report issued by a panel of scientists, business leaders and government officias, which says human-caused climate change is already affecting the United States in significant, observable ways.

“The effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, scientists reported Tuesday, with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more common and more severe, wildfires growing worse, and forests dying under assault from heat-loving insects,” wrote the Times.

climate

Rise in natural disasters since 1950 (from Center for Research on Epidemiology on Natural Disasters).

“One of the report’s most dramatic findings concerned the rising frequency of torrential rains. Scientists have expected this effect for decades because more water is evaporating from a warming ocean surface, and the warmer atmosphere can hold the excess vapor, which then falls as rain or snow. But even the leading experts have been surprised by the magnitude of the effect.”

The report, known as the National Climate Assessment, explained that scientists are reluctant to attribute specific weather events to overall climate change, but heavy rains and dramatic weather patterns are consistent with what they expect in a warming climate. Climate change will not happen at a steady pace, and bitterly cold winters will continue, even as they become less likely to occur.

Just six weeks ago, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, with over 100,000 scientist-members around the globe, kicked off a campaign to cut through public confusion and identify the realities of global climate change.

Today’s report was approved by a large committee of science, business, governmental and other leaders, including representatives from two oil companies (Chevron and ConocoPhillips). (more…)

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Today, the New York Times has a story about a report on climate change just released by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest non-governmental general science membership organization.

AAAS convened a task force of climate science experts, economists, community leaders and policy makers for its “What We Know” Initiative, to address the continuing lack of public awareness of the full spectrum of climate risks. Scientists from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Woods Hole and other research institutions are guiding the effort to educate people about the scientific evidence on climate change, raise the alarm about serious risks and consequences to the planet, and debunk myths and misinformation.

The report contains no new science. Instead, it is clearer and “more accessible than perhaps anything the scientific community has put out to date,” the Times writes. The initiative is intended to cut through public confusion, and identify:

The Reality–Surveys show that the public is somewhat concerned about climate change, but believes there is still significant scientific disagreement about the causes. This is FALSE. According to AAAS, “Based on well-established evidence, about 97% of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening.”

The Risk–AAAS writes: “Earth’s climate is on a path to warm beyond the range of what has been experienced over the past millions of years. The range of uncertainty for the warming along the current emissions path is wide enough to encompass massively disruptive consequences to societies and ecosystems: as global temperatures rise, there is a real risk, however small, that one or more critical parts of the Earth’s climate system will experience abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes.”

Worst case forecasts include severe food shortages, rising seas that would inundate coastlines, extreme heat waves, droughts and floods, and massive extinction of plants and animals.  (more…)

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