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Humans are likely cause of 'unequivocal' global warming, IPCC report says


From the September 30, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published September 30, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director

Global warming is "unequivocal" and limiting climate change "will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions," says a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased," according to a Sept. 26 summary of the report by the panel of scientists convened by the United Nations. The full 1,000-page report will be released today, Sept. 30.

It is extremely likely that human activity has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century, the report said. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. CO2 concentrations have increased by 40 percent since pre-industrial times, "primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions," the IPCC said.

The report downplayed the so-called "pause" in warming over the past 15 years. While acknowledging that the rate of global warming has slowed during this period, the report said that, due to natural variability, "trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends."

The summary of the report is available online.

 

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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella
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JLaBella@publicpower.org

Editorial Director
Robert Varela
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Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson
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