Climate change researchers and activists say the debate is over on the science of global warming but deniers of the evidence think a 15-year pause in temperature rise is reason enough to keep questioning conclusions.
On Friday, the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change will release its summary for policy makers of the physical science basis study. This study is the first part of the IPCC’s fifth Assessment Report.
And the contributors admit there isn’t much of a change from their last one, which they released in 2007, beyond the fact that they are even more certain about their science.
“It further affirms: a), that we have seen a changing climate, b), that a lot of that is because of us [humans] and, c), if we don’t do something about it we’re going to be in serious trouble,” explained John Stone, one of the authors of the IPCC’s fourth report in 2007 that won the group the Nobel Peace Prize. He peer reviewed the IPCC’s latest report…
Stone is disappointed with the way the IPCC is explaining the so-called “temperature hiatus.” That is the 15-year period between 1998 and the present where the temperature of land and air have flatlined.
Stone offered a number of possible explanations:
— Oceans are taking more of the heat that was absorbed by the atmosphere and land prior to 1998.
— There is still natural variability in temperatures and that natural variability is currently masking the human effects on the climate. That is to say, if there wasn’t so much human-made carbon dioxide in the air, it would be a lot colder.
— The Sun radiates energy in cycles. We are currently at a low energy ebb in that cycle.
“But to be honest, there’s not a clear consensus among the scientific community,” said Stone.