Global warming is caused by man, with a 95% certainty, according to a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That’s an increase from the last report, dated 2007.
The hard part, the report’s authors say, is determining the severity of its impact, and where.
Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the UN panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.
That is up from at least 90 percent in the last report in 2007, 66 percent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995, steadily squeezing out the arguments by a small minority of scientists that natural variations in the climate might be to blame.
That shifts the debate onto the extent of temperature rises and the likely impacts, from manageable to catastrophic.
Governments have agreed to work out an international deal by the end of 2015 to rein in rising emissions.
I don’t usually do quick posts like this, but it’s a good long story from Reuters, and worth a read.
Here is more of Gaius’ earlier coverage of climate change.