A turbulent future of violent storms, devastating drought, higher temperatures and rising sea levels is inevitable, according to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which released its 1200-page report in Paris last night. The work of 2500 scientists over six years, it is considered the most authoritative evaluation of climate change ever produced.
Great solemnity had marked it's release European cities. The 20,000 light bulbs on the Eiffel Tower were turned off for five minutes the night before, and blackouts were staged in the Colosseum in Rome and the Greek Parliament in Athens. The Spanish were not to be outdone and the Puerta de Alcal in Madrid, the Giralda Tower in Seville and landmarks in the ancient Mediterranean city of Valencia were plunged into darkness. There has been a sea-change in the general public awareness of global warming since the 2001 IPPC Report, boosted by the worldwide success of An Inconvenient Truth, and the conversions of big business to the need for a carbon price signal, and of the powerful Murdoch press to the cause. The release of the Stern Report knocked out the denialists argument that changing the status quo would send our economies into tailspin. It turns to the opposite is true - the cost of not reducing emissions is estimates to be 20 times the cost of not doing anything.
Six scenarios depicting temperature rises from 1.1 degrees to potentially 6.4 degrees Celsius are presented, along with the claim that it is 90 per cent certainty that we who burn fossil-fuels are the cause of the global warming of the last 50 years. The anthropogenic cause is now defined as "very likely" , whereas in the previous IPCC report it was defined as "likely", or a 65 per cent certainty.
The scientists have finished their job. Only fool waits for 100 per cent certainty of an impending and irreversible disaster.
The rest is up to us. The situation requires immediate and urgent and lasting action.
Global Warning Climate Change 2007 IPCC Report Energy