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The Forum > Article Comments > As effects of warming grow, UN report is quickly dated > Comments

As effects of warming grow, UN report is quickly dated : Comments

By Michael Lemonick, published 20/2/2009

Key portions of the IPCC report are already out of date, as evidence shows the impacts of warming intensifying.

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Several other critics have pointed out on the other hand that all IPCC CO2 emissions scenarios may be overstated. There simply isn't that much fossil carbon left to burn. It is thought that coal will have reached an economic peak extraction rate by 2030, meaning that remaining deposits will be too deep, thin layered or waterlogged. So I guess it all boils down to the next 20 years or so. If the coal burn rate is too high it will release methane from soils and seafloors, help burn forests and expose rock now covered in ice. One estimate using a simplified atmospheric model suggests warming will peak at 2C.

Since conditions have been hellish with 0.6C of warming a full 2C seems too much to bear. In Australia that means more firestorms, floods, cyclones, tidal surges, coral bleaching, forest dieback and water supply crises. You'd think the Australian government would do better than 5% CO2 cuts by 2015 which some even think is too much.
Posted by Taswegian, Friday, 20 February 2009 8:44:58 AM
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Taswegian,
I think you've missed the point. It isnít just a matter of a few degrees itís what that will cause. The informed predictions actually state that the 2 degrees will increase the frequency of a series of 'natural' disasters, droughts, heat waves, cold snaps...bushfires and floods etc. I for one donít want the current intensities of fires and floods to become more regular, the barrier reef to die, or many of our islands to be inundated, then thereís the coastal damage from increased tidal surges and more Cyclones for the north. The good luck don't die isn't quite enough.
Posted by examinator, Friday, 20 February 2009 10:35:32 AM
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You may want to check the recent data on Arctic sea ice melt. Two days ago the American- National Snow and Ice Data centre:http: //nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ : acknowledged that their satellite's sensor was faulty and underestimated the amount of artic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers To put that into perspective: the land mass of Australia is about 7.5 million square kilometers, ie: it underestimated the Arctic ice by about 1/15 the size of Australia-- this is a very big error.
Posted by thinkabit, Friday, 20 February 2009 11:19:21 AM
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Just to be fair to the writers of the report cited, if one goes to the National Snow and Ice Data centre to read the news, you will find:

"We stress, however, that this error in no way changes the scientific conclusions about the long-term decline of Arctic sea ice, which is based on the the consistent, quality-controlled data archive discussed..."

John
Posted by RenegadeScience, Friday, 20 February 2009 11:28:25 AM
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RenegadeScience, I should have mentioned that. I do acknowledge that they still standby their original claims. But what I was trying to point out is that while this blog seems to state that there has been a massive increase just recently (within the last 1-2years) that far exceeds the original predictions it maybe more prudent to wait a while to till this correction for the error is calculated in before making such a claim.
(Just for the record, personally I believe the climate is changing- it always has. Whether the current scenario is predominately due to humans or not- I'm not so sure; more science has be done. Whether it makes real big difference to my life and the lives of the vast majority compared to things such as the economy or viruses/other disease or war/other political conflict (that we can mainly control/are directly responsible for) I'm pretty sure that it doesn't and that it should barely get a mention.)
Posted by thinkabit, Friday, 20 February 2009 11:42:21 AM
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Ho Hum,
Another 'global warming' thread and still no evidence that human activity is a cause or that we can do anything about it.

It is now some years ago that the alarmists were all upset about the 'hole in the ozone layer' and were predicting dire consequences.
This author makes mention of 'the hole' and predicts warmering because it is closing. Can't satisfy some people. Remember the 2000 milininum bug that was supposed to wipe us all out. Ocean acidifacation is the coming next big fear. Standby to hear more and more on that.
Posted by Banjo, Friday, 20 February 2009 12:05:00 PM
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