The evidence for Anthropogenic Climate Change is overwhelming. Over the past forty years the hypothesis has moved from ‘Is our world warming up outside historical, natural behaviour of the global ecosystem?’ to ‘What exactly are the effects of the expected two or three degree average rise in global temperatures on global climate?’. In the intervening time a vast amount of studies have been undertaken around the world by a large variety of scientists and the agreement in 2013 has been summed up in the latest Inter-Government Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.1″>
To summarise the findings succinctly,
- Global temperatures are rising steadily – as predicted
- Human activity releasing carbon into the atmosphere is the primary cause
- The global climate has already changed to bring more extreme weather events more often – as predicted.
- Action must be taken now on a global basis to prevent the catastrophe from getting worse.
For a well detailed site that explains the science on this topic in a way that anybody can understand, go here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/
The Australian site manager has spent a phenomenal amount of time assembling the definitive repository of evidence based reasoning on climate change. It includes answers to the many myths spread in commercial media as well as the ability to choose from a simple, intermediate or full academic view of the evidence and debate. This includes reference links back to actual studies so you can validate them separately as required. The information is here to convince yourself based on evidence from primary and secondary sources. This site deserves an award for standing for the scientific process against a flood of misrepresentations, half-truths and outright lies.
The results are no real surprise to anybody who has been following the path of research. The predictions made by models in 1990, which were far simpler than those in use today, were proven accurate twenty years later. This is the kind of hypothesis based prediction that forms the basis of good science.
The predictions being made in 2013 for the next fifty years are profoundly disturbing. The scope of this problem is global; if we do nothing then we will see catastrophic effects globally within 30-50 years. This will include more extreme storms, longer monsoon seasons, higher maximum temperatures and substantial rainfall variation. These will severely impact food production globally and make the distribution of food and drinking water a global concern. This reality must force us to consider what activities we can undertake on national and international levels to reduce the growing amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
In order to stabilize CO2 concentrations at about 450 ppm by 2050, global emissions would have to decline by about 60% by 2050. Industrialized countries greenhouse gas emissions would have to decline by about 80% by 2050. This places significant burdens on the highly industrialised countries like China and the USA to change their business models and technical solutions across every industry they operate in. It puts equal pressure on fossil fuel resource countries like Australia to reduce mining and export activities as soon as possible. This is the fundamental cause of the resistance; no corporation wants to change a system that is working to bring them huge profit margins. If that greed could be redirected towards starting up new industries to support new solutions, we could make progress. If that greed were redirected to innovation, we would provide a better future for every living creature on the planet.