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Der Spiegel, the Globe and Mail, and pretty much every other media is full of stories on the latest UNO report on climate change these days. However, as of today only a miniscule part of the entire planned publication is available today, the summary for policy makers (SPM), a 21 page long summary of the “Working Group I”. In total there are three working groups: 1) The Physical Science Basis, 2) Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability, and 3) Mitigation of Climate Change

In this first part of the four volume long “Climate Change 2007” report describes progress in understanding of the human and natural drivers of climate change, observed climate change, climate processes and attribution, and estimates of projected future climate change. This first document pretty much says we know more since the last report, and we know with more certainty that human activity leads to a warmer atmosphere, higher sea levels, and more severe weather events. See the “Real Climate” Blog for a more in depth discussion of the SPM

Here is an argument, that I stole from Taha Ouarda relating to climate change. It illustrates the point with a nice example. The example has to do with hockey, hence I like it:

Last year, the [Montreal] Canadians got a new coach. After the new coach has been working with the team for a while, results got better, and now the team as a whole is playing better than before. Without a doubt the change of the coach lead to a different situation, that is a better hockey team. Then you might ask: Was Saku Koivu’s goal last night a direct result of that coach change?

The answer is no. Firstly, Saku Koivu is a pretty wicked hockey player, and he has always scored lots and nice goals. Secondly, it is not possible to trace one event to one change. Similarly, it is not possible to say if the current winter in Germany that is warmer than average is the direct result of high CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. But we know, that higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere lead to warmer air.

Speaking of hockey, the picture in this blog entry shows the same “hockey stick curve” as the one Al Gore used in his movie “An Inconvenient Truth“.

Hockey Stick Curve in atmospheric gas concentrations over time

Well, and then there’s these guys…

Written by Claus

February 5th, 2007 at 6:37 pm

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