Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Copenhagen Diagnosis

The recently released Copenhagen Diagnosis provides an updated summary of the scientific evidence supporting immediate action on climate change. The study is described as the final scientific briefing before the world convenes for COP15 climate change talks next week in Copenhagen.

The report was compiled by a group of 25 scientists from Europe, North America and Australia. The evidence they cite includes retreating Arctic sea ice, rising sea levels, soaring CO2 emissions and temperature increases. Here are some of the reports major points,

-The area of summer sea-ice melt during 2007-2009 was about 40 percent greater than the average projection by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

- Sea levels have risen five centimetres over the past 15 years, about 80 percent higher than expected, sea levels could exceed one metre by 2100, flooding lands now home to about 160 million people.

-In 2008, CO2 emissions from fossil fuels were about 40 percent higher than in 1990.

-Global mean temperatures could climb four to seven degrees Celsius by 2100.

The authors of the report concludes global emissions must drop sharply for the world to have a "reasonable chance" of avoiding the most calamitous impacts of climate change. "To stabilize climate, a decarbonized global society--with near-zero emissions of CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases --needs to be reached well within this century."

Although credible scientific evidence is derided by climate change deniers, COP15 participants are not quite as impervious to the truth. One of the reports co-authors Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change stated,"They need to know the stark truth about global warming and the unprecedented risks involved."

See The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Climate Science Report.

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