CLIMATE CHANGE: IPCC 4th Assessment Report (SPM) is Out!

(Originally posted on zPod:CLIMATE CHANGE)

The summary for policy makers (SPM) of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 4th Assessment Report is now out. You can check out the SPM here. I think it’s bound to start another round of controversy between the Cassandras and the Dorothys.

For example, there’s this news in The Guardian that, “scientists offered cash to dispute climate study.” The blogosphere is already buzzing with interpretations of the SPM.  Here’s one from RealClimate.org:

“First
of all, given the science that has been done since the Third Assessment
Report (“TAR”) of 2001 – much of which has been discussed here – no one
should be surprised that AR4 comes to a stronger conclusion. In
particular, the report concludes that human influences on climate are
‘very likely’ (> 90% chance) already detectable in observational
record; increased from ‘likely’ (> 66% chance) in the TAR. Key
results here include the simulations for the 20th Century by the latest
state-of-the-art climate models which demonstrate that recent trends
cannot be explained without including human-related increases in
greenhouse gases, and consistent evidence for ocean heating, sea ice
melting, glacier melting and ecosystem shifts. This makes the
projections of larger continued changes ‘in the pipeline’ (particularly
under “business as usual” scenarios) essentially indisputable.”

And here’s a more gloomy reporting from Guardian Unlimited:

“The
authors have reached some pretty depressing conclusions: that human
activity has contributed to climate change, and that even if we change
our behaviour today, the planet will become a more dangerous place.”

Since the media will have different interpretations of the IPCC report due to political bias or plain ignorance,
it would be hard for lay people (like me) to get an accurate
understanding. Even if I read the IPCC report myself, a lot of the
language, terminology, and scientific studies cross-referenced in the
report will be alien language to me because I’m no expert. That’s why
I’d still depend on “experts” to interpret the report. Hopefully, the
experts I would turn to will have less bias. And that’s where the
element of trust and certain “beliefs” will kick in.

But when everything is said and done about Climate Change, I’d still stick to my own gut feel: to treat Climate Change “as if” it’s a myth.

So what do you think? Feel free to discuss this in the comment section or post your thoughts on zPod:CLIMATE CHANGE.

In other related news, Al Gore has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and his film may also win an Oscar. Nice.