Climate Scientists Emphasize Human Role In Climate Change

The sun sets behind a coal power plant in Germany.

Federico Gambarini/DPA /LANDOV

The sun sets behind a coal power plant in Germany.

An international panel of climate scientists has found that the human influence on temperature increases and other benchmarks of global warming is “extremely likely” and is predicting a three-foot rise in seal level if emissions go unchecked.

Their findings are from a leaked draft of the next United Nations Climate report which will be finalized next month. It is to be the fifth report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC) and so far, shows that scientists are growing increasingly confident in manmade global warming.

From the New York Times:

The 2007 report found “unequivocal” evidence of warming, but hedged a little on responsibility, saying the chances were at least 90 percent that human activities were the cause. The language in the new draft is stronger, saying the odds are at least 95 percent that humans are the principal cause.

The report also shows temperatures could rise at least 2.7 degrees if carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere double.

Here in Pennsylvania, a 2009 state report found that Pennsylvania contributes one percent of Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions. The state also ranks third for carbon dioxide emissions nationally.

A StateImpact Pennsylvania review found that the Corbett administration has been ignoring a law on the books requiring Pennsylvania to address climate change. The state Department of Environmental Protection could not explain why two legally-mandated reports – an impact assessment and a greenhouse gases action plan – had not been published. Former DEP secretary Michael Krancer maintained that scientists disagree about the human contributions to climate change.

Members of the DEP’s Climate Change Advisory Committee say that speaks to the administration’s overall lack of commitment to addressing Pennsylvania’s role in reducing emissions.


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