IPCC release new report

The much-anticipated Working Group One, Assessment Report Five (AR5) Summary for Policymakers was published online by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Friday.  The report has 209 lead authors and over 600 contributing authors and it "considers new evidence of climate change based on many independent scientific analyses from observations of the climate system, paleoclimate archives, theoretical studies of climate processes and simulations using climate models".

The summary for policymakers sends a stark warning to the world with the scientist expressing that it is extremely likely that more than half of the global surface temperature increase since 1951 is a result of human influence and it is likely that this influence "has more than doubled the probability of occurrence of heat waves in some locations".

The report states that depending on the global greenhouse gas emissions sceanios (RCPs) surface temperatures will increase by between 0.3 and 4.8 degrees C by 2081-2100 compared to the 1986-2005 average.  Projections for global sea level rise for the same period is anticipated to be between 26cm and 98cm (once again depending on global greenhouse gas emissions).

It is important to note that when considering the above ranges that we are already tracking the higher end of greenhouse gas emissions and as such if we maintain that course we are looking at a range of 2.6 to 4.8 degrees warming (with the mean being 3.7 degrees).

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