Thirteen US federal agencies have come together to detail the most comprehensive report on climate change ever. Four hundred and seventy-seven pages in all, the report, which was published yesterday, expresses the undeniability that climate change is human-driven. In fact, it goes so far as to say that over 90% of climate change is anthropogenic.
“It shows that if anything the findings of scientists have become more dire” since 2013, said University of California Berkeley climate scientist Zeke Hausfather, who did not participate in the report.
The report states that Earth has warmed by 1 degree Celsius and seas have risen by 8 inches since 1900. Study co-author Katharine Hayhoe said what scientists have known for a while now: “This period is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization.” Since 1950, our human contribution to warming the planet has vacillated between 92-123%, mostly coming from fossil-fuel related combustion.
Which is exactly the opposite of what the Trump administration has been touting for the last months. Nevertheless, David Fahey of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and several other authors of the report assured that there was no political interference or censoring in the document.
One of the more ominous parts of the report are the clearly outlined “tipping points” that lay ahead of our planet’s existence. Although the authors did not include a likelihood of which tipping points will or will not occur, naming them are scary enough. The Guardian writes that some of the key points are, “the slowing down of the giant Atlantic Ocean circulation system could dramatically warp weather worldwide, much stronger El Niños, major decreases in ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, which would spike sea level rise, and massive release of methane and carbon dioxide from thawing permafrost that could turbo-charge warming.”
It is likely that this report will be a hot topic of conversation at the UN climate change conference in Bonn, Germany later on this month. The United States is planning to send representatives and it is likely they will receive harsh questioning regarding President Trump’s decision to back out of the Paris Climate Accord.