Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Renowned Scientists Declare Human Activity the Root of Global Warming

Climate

Climate News Network

By Alex Kirby

With the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report not yet published, there is already heated debate about what it will say, and about the implications of its findings for human development.

The scientists' statement is unequivocal, and is not based on whatever the IPCC may publish. They say: "The body of evidence indicating that our civilization has already caused significant global warming is overwhelming."

Leading scientists of the Earth League. Photo credit: Grantham Institute for Climate Change

The statement comes from 12 members of the recently established Earth League, which describes itself as "a voluntary alliance of leading scientists and institutions dealing with planetary processes and sustainability issues."

They say that if humans continue with business as usual, using fossil fuels and pumping out excessive amounts of greenhouse gases, the world will be on track for a planet that is four degrees Celsius warmer by the end of this century, or even earlier.

The group says assertions that there has been no warming this century are simply wrong:

Regardless of the... (erroneous) claim that global warming has already stopped, evidence is that once well-known impacts from El Niño, volcanic aerosols and solar variability are removed from the observations, the warming trend of the ocean-atmosphere system is unbroken; and that it will continue (potentially towards four degrees Celsius) unless serious mitigation action is taken.

That global warming continues unabated over the last decade is confirmed by ocean measurements. Ninety percent of the additional heat that the Earth system absorbs due to the increase in greenhouse gases is stored in the oceans, and the global array of thousands of scientific measurement robots in the oceans proves that they keep heating up at a steady pace. Meanwhile satellites show that sea levels also keep rising steadily.

The statement says a four degree Celsius rise would drastically change the Earth. Some coastlines and entire islands would be submerged by rising sea levels, and more extreme heat waves would cause crop failures and loss of life.

It says powerful feedback processes that would very probably raise the warming even higher could be triggered, and might prove irreversible, "four degrees of planetary warming means some eight degree Celsius change close to the Arctic, which will cause even larger impacts on the Eurasian and North American land mass and the surrounding seas."

"... our societies seem to be willing to impose immense risks on future generations.”

Already, it says, there is persuasive evidence that immense changes may be under way:

The last two decades were ... punctuated by devastating floods (like the Pakistan deluge in 2010) that may be related to an incipient restructuring of the atmospheric circulation.

The signs on the climate wall as expressed by the accelerated melting of Arctic sea ice and by the retreat of the overwhelming majority of glaciers worldwide are there for all to see. Yet this is just the beginning.

“Although climate science only tells us what might happen and not what to do about it, we feel that inaction is an unacceptable prospect," the scientists say.

“Nations go to war, implement mass vaccinations of their populations and organize expensive insurance and security systems (such as anti-terror measures) to address much fainter threats. However, our societies seem to be willing to impose immense risks on future generations.”

The 12 signatories recognize that some people believe it is impossible for human activities to produce a four degree Celsius temperature rise. Others, they say, are already acknowledging defeat by maintaining that the international policy goal of limiting warming to less than two degrees Celsius is a lost case.

They write that there is "ample evidence" that the world can hold a two degree Celsius line, and say technology shows that global sustainability is attainable. But they add, "... the evidence demonstrates that the time frame to achieve this is rapidly shrinking."

The signatories of the statement include Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, and Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

During a protest action on May 30 in North Rhine-Westphalia, Datteln in front of the site of the Datteln 4 coal-fired power plant, Greenpeace activists projected the lettering: "Climate crisis - Made in Germany" onto the cooling tower. Guido Kirchner / picture alliance / Getty Images

Around 500 climate activists on Saturday gathered outside the new Datteln 4 coal power plant in Germany's Ruhr region, to protest against its opening.

Read More Show Less
Dr. Mark Brunswick (2R), Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality, walks through the lab at Sorrento Therapeutics in San Diego, California on May 22. ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP / Getty Images

By Julia Ries

Around the world, there have been several cases of people recovering from COVID-19 only to later test positive again and appear to have another infection.

Read More Show Less

By Samantha Hepburn

In the expansion of its iron ore mine in Western Pilbara, Rio Tinto blasted the Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 — Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. These sites had deep historical and cultural significance.

Read More Show Less
Meadow Lake wind farm in Indiana. Anthony / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tara Lohan

The first official tallies are in: Coronavirus-related shutdowns helped slash daily global emissions of carbon dioxide by 14 percent in April. But the drop won't last, and experts estimate that annual emissions of the greenhouse gas are likely to fall only about 7 percent this year.

Read More Show Less
Andrey Nikitin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Adrienne Santos-Longhurst

Plants are awesome. They brighten up your space and give you a living thing you can talk to when there are no humans in sight.

Turns out, having enough of the right plants can also add moisture (aka humidify) indoor air, which can have a ton of health benefits.

Read More Show Less
A bald eagle chick inside a nest in Rutland, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
A bald eagle nest with eggs has been discovered in Cape Cod for the first time in 115 years, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Mass Wildlife), as Newsweek reported.
Read More Show Less

Trending

The office of Rover.com sits empty with employees working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 in Seattle, Washington. John Moore / Getty Images

The office may never look the same again. And the investment it will take to protect employees may force many companies to go completely remote. That's after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations for how workers can return to the office safely.

Read More Show Less