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10 November 2017

The Globe is getting hotter in Climate Change

Global Warming

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN-established body on climate change, has released parts of its landmark Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on climate change. Scientists from dozens of countries are now certain more than ever that climate is changing; the earth is getting hotter; and that human contribution to the changes in the climate system is clearer as well as significant.

Based on worldwide scientific observations and studies, scientists believe that over the period 1880-2012, the average global temperature has gone up by 0.85°C. Increase in average earth surface temperature in the last three decades was observed more than any preceding decades since 1850.

The scientists believe that global warming is ‘unequivocal’ and since 1950 the atmosphere and oceans have warmed, the amounts of ice and snow have diminished, sea level have risen and concentrations of greenhouse gases have significantly increased.

Observed since 1950, the number of cold days and cold nights has decreased while the number of warm days and warm nights has very likely increased. The intensity of heavy precipitation as well as the frequency of heat waves has increased.

Scientists have observed that over the period 1901-2010, the global mean sea level rose by 0.19m. They believe that the global ocean will continue to warm during the 21st century. Heat will penetrate from surface to deep ocean and affect ocean circulation. The report also reveals the mass of glaciers around the world is diminishing and there has been a net loss of ice from the Cryospher [Earth holding water in solid form].

IPCC says that the glaciers worldwide have continued to shrink since its 4th report released in 2007. It has been projected that the glaciers will continue to melt even without further increase in the temperature.  

It has been observed that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet have been losing mass and the glaciers have continued shrinking.  Monsoons regions are being projected to be increased and monsoon seasons are being projected to be lengthy. All the climate changes have catastrophic consequences for community of global nations.

Glaciers in the Himalaya and Hindu Kush have been losing mass but glaciers in Karakoram, as per IPCC report, are close to balance. However, it is said that due to poorly known glacial characteristics in Himalayan and Karakoram region, the future evolution is uncertain.

The report has challenged the notion that the recent decades have shown static climate change anomalies saying it is a pause due to ocean absorbing earth energy budget and other short term climate processes including volcanic pollution, catalyst to affect radiative forcing.

Both the climate change deniers and government and policy makers can ill afford to overlook the report. The latest report, on the one hand, is seen human confession of polluting the earth while on the other hand it is heavily criticized for failing to provide substantial evidence of human complicity. What appears to be certain is that something is happening.

If scientists say “It is extremely likely that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.” governments and climate change deniers must trust their fellow human beings— the scientists. A catastrophe otherwise would be as certain as Jeff Goodell of Rollingstone says that ‘future readers may view IPCC reports not as landmarks of scientific inquiry, but as suicide notes from a lost civilization.’

Dardistan Times report based on IPCC AR5
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