60-Second Earth

Leaked Report Confirms Human-Induced Climate Change

The world is on track for warming of at least 2 degrees Celsius, according to a leaked draft of the next IPCC report. David Biello reports

A rogue reviewer posted a draft this week of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's next report, in a bid to promote climate change denial.

Instead the draft reaffirms humanity's starring role in global warming, which, along with sea level rise is now "unequivocal.” Also human caused CO2 increases are now "virtually certain" to be responsible for trapping extra heat. And it is "extremely likely that human activities have caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperatures since the 1950s."

In other words, we're well on our way towards global warming of 2 degrees Celsius or more by 2050, if not sooner. After all, concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are likely to hit 400 parts-per-million this coming spring or next.

The final draft isn't due until next fall and the leak highlights a need to consider updating the IPCC process. Global warming no longer needs confirmation—instead the world needs solutions to climate change's challenges. After all, "many aspects of climate change will persist for centuries even if concentrations of greenhouse gases are stabilized.”

—David Biello

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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