NORMAN — The just-released report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Sept. 30) only confirms that the direction our climate-denier leaders are taking us remains dangerously wrongheaded.
The report shows, for example, that not only does global warming exist, but scientists now say it is “extremely likely” that it is caused by human activity.
While the report underlines — as climate-deniers such as Sens. Inhofe and Coburn maintain — that we still have much to learn about earth’s climate, the report makes it clear that greenhouse gases must be curbed to maintain weather and climate hospitable to humans on earth for the near and long-term future.
Thomas Stocker, co-chair of the scientists who produced the report, said, “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Other findings include:
· Sea levels are likely to rise three feet by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at current rates.
· The past three decades stand as the hottest since the 1850s.
· Over the past two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have steadily lost mass, and glaciers across the world are rapidly shrinking.
· The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased to levels unprecedented in the last 800,000 years.
· The rate of warming has slowed in the past 15 years, which scientists see as only a temporary reprieve caused by oceans absorbing heat.
The report compiled these and other points from millions of observations, from 2 million gigabytes of numerical data from climate modeling and from 9,200 scientific publications, most of which have been published since the last report in 2007.
By now, except for our state’s political leaders, most of us now think the scientists are getting it right on global warming.