2 November 2014
The twitter pics posted by Reid Wiseman (@atro_reid) from high above Earth are just amazing, and I saw one shot in particular from earlier in the week that dove-tails nicely with the final release (Sunday) of the 5th IPCC report (WG3 here). The IPCC report was nothing less than blunt, saying we must get off of fossil fuels by the end of this century, and must especially get away from using coal to generate electricity within 35 years. If we do not, we face leaving our grand-children a MUCH different planet.
The final report is HERE, but below are some snippets I grabbed for those who will say TLDR (too long didn’t read- which is a very bad habit to get into).
“Without additional mitigation efforts beyond those in place today, and even with adaptation, warming
by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread and irreversible
impacts, globally(high confidence) (Topic 2 and Figure 3.1 panel A). Estimates of warming in 2100
without additional climate mitigation efforts are from 3.7 °C to 4.8 °C compared with pre-industrial levels
(median Transient Climate Response (TCR); the range is 2.5 °C to 7.8 °C when using the 5th to 95th
percentile range of TCR) (Figure 3.1; figure 3.4; WGIII SPM.3). The risks associated with temperatures at or
above 4°C include severe and widespread impacts on unique and threatened systems, substantial species
extinction, large risks to global and regional food security, consequential constraints on common human
activities, increased likelihood of triggering tipping points (critical thresholds), and limited potential for
adaptation in some cases (high confidence) (Box 3.3). Some risks of climate change, such as risks to unique
and threatened systems and risks associated with extreme weather events, are moderate to high at
temperatures 1°C to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.” (From IPCC WG 3 report released this weekend)
The image below was taken over Gibraltar, and shows cirrus clouds that look to mainly be from jet aircraft. The amount of cirrus cloud produced by aircraft has turned out to be much higher than was thought a couple of decades ago.
“There is no PLAN B because there is no PLANET B” – Dr. Rajenda Pachauri head of IPCC
The news conference today in Copenhagen is below: