by Robert Willkinson
At my old political blog I covered a lot of stories on different aspects of global warming as it's gotten worse year by year, since it's the major issue facing our world. In this USA Today story, we are told "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." As one Canadian climate scientist put it, ""This isn't a smoking gun; climate is a batallion of intergalactic smoking missiles." Some primary points of the article follow, but please go to the news story to get the full picture.
From the story:
"...The first phase of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change... written by more than 600 scientists and reviewed by another 600 experts... will feature an "explosion of new data" on observations of current global warming... 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 full report will be issued in four phases over the year, as was the case with the last IPCC report, issued in 2001.
"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... 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...." 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.
Not to be needlessly obvious, but this report offers one more confirmation that there are changes coming like few we've ever imagined before. It's definitely time to think in the future, and begin to prepare in the NOW, for what's coming down the road.