[climatematters] 'smoking gun' on climate

  • From: Leslie Coelho <lesliecoelho@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "climatematters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <climatematters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2007 09:45:00 +0000

Report has 'smoking gun' on climate 

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Mon Jan 22, 10:06 PM ET 

WASHINGTON - Human-caused global warming is here, visible in the air, water and 
melting ice, and is destined to get much worse in the future, an authoritative 
global scientific report will warn next week.
"The smoking gun is definitely lying on the table as we speak," said top U.S. 
climate scientist Jerry Mahlman, who reviewed all 1,600 pages of the first 
segment of a giant four-part report. "The evidence ... is compelling."
Andrew Weaver, a Canadian climate scientist and study co-author, went even 
further: "This isn't a smoking gun; climate is a batallion of intergalactic 
smoking missiles."
The first phase of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is being 
released in Paris next week. This segment, written by more than 600 scientists 
and reviewed by another 600 experts and edited by bureaucrats from 154 
countries, includes "a significantly expanded discussion of observation on the 
climate," said co-chair Susan Solomon, a senior scientist for the U.S. National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She and other scientists held a 
telephone briefing on the report Monday.
That report will feature an "explosion of new data" on observations of current 
global warming, Solomon said.
Solomon and others wouldn't go into specifics about what the report says. They 
said that the 12-page summary for policymakers will be edited in secret 
word-by-word by governments officials for several days next week and released 
to the public on Feb. 2. The rest of that first report from scientists will 
come out months later.
The full report will be issued in four phases over the year, as was the case 
with the last IPCC report, issued in 2001.
Global warming is "happening now, it's very obvious," said Mahlman, a former 
director of NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab who lives in Boulder, Colo. 
"When you look at the temperature of the Earth, it's pretty much a no-brainer."
Look for an "iconic statement" — a simple but strong and unequivocal summary — 
on how global warming is now occurring, said one of the authors, Kevin 
Trenberth, director of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric 
Research, also in Boulder.
The February report will have "much stronger evidence now of human actions on 
the change in climate that's taken place," Rajendra K. Pachauri told the AP in 
November. Pachauri, an Indian climatologist, is the head of the international 
climate change panel.
An early version of the ever-changing draft report said "observations of 
coherent warming in the global atmosphere, in the ocean, and in snow and ice 
now provide stronger joint evidence of warming."
And the early draft adds: "An increasing body of evidence suggests a 
discernible human influence on other aspects of climate including sea ice, heat 
waves and other extremes, circulation, storm tracks and precipitation."
The world's global average temperature has risen about 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit 
from 1901 to 2005. The two warmest years on record for the world were 2005 and 
1998. Last year was the hottest year on record for the United States.
The report will draw on already published peer-review science. Some recent 
scientific studies show that temperatures are the hottest in thousands of 
years, especially during the last 30 years; ice sheets in Greenland in the past 
couple years have shown a dramatic melting; and sea levels are rising and doing 
so at a faster rate in the past decade.
Also, the second part of the international climate panel's report — to be 
released in April — will for the first time feature a blockbuster chapter on 
how global warming is already changing health, species, engineering and food 
production, said 
 NASA scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, author of that chapter.
As confident as scientists are about the global warming effects that they've 
already documented, they are as gloomy about the future and even hotter weather 
and higher sea level rises. Predictions for the future of global warming in the 
report are based on 19 computer models, about twice as many as in the past, 
Solomon said.
In 2001, the panel said the world's average temperature would increase 
somewhere between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit and the sea level would rise 
between 4 and 35 inches by the year 2100. The 2007 report will likely have a 
smaller range of numbers for both predictions, Pachauri and other scientists 
The future is bleak, scientists said. 
"We have barely started down this path," said chapter co-author Richard Alley 
of Penn State University. 
AP Special Correspondent Charles J. Hanley contributed to this report. Source: 
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