Essar Oil to Invest $6B to More than Triple Refining Capacity at Vadinar
Report: 16 Major Japanese Firms to Partner on Developing Low-Cost Technology for Cellulosic Ethanol

IPCC Delivers AR4 Synthesis Report; Stage Set for Climate Change Negotiations in Bali

On Saturday, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented its Synthesis Report of the other three volumes of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) released earlier this year. (Earlier post.) The consolidation of the three other elements—scientific reviews of climate trends; an assessment of the world’s ability to adapt to a warming planet; and strategies for mitigation—provides an integrated view of the scientific basis for what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described as “the defining challenge of our time.”

The message contained in the Synthesis Report, said the Secretary General at the presentation event in Spain, “could not be simpler. The threat of climate change is real, and there are concrete and affordable ways to deal with it.

The publication of the report, he noted, sets the stage for the climate change conference which begins in two weeks in Bali, Indonesia.

This conference is so very is in Bali that governments will have to provide political solutions to what are now well established scientific facts. The breakthrough needed in Bali is an agreement to launch negotiations for a comprehensive climate change deal that all nations can embrace, developed and developing alike. Scientists have now done their work, and I call on political leaders to do theirs and agree not only to launch negotiations but also to conclude them by 2009.

Global, sweeping, concerted action is needed now. There is no time to waste.

—Ban Ki-moon

Presenting an overview of the Synthesis Report for policymakers, IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri noted again the finding of the AR4 scientists that the arming of the climate system is unequivocal, and is marked by increasing global air and ocean temperatures; rising global average sea level; and reductions in snow and ice cover.

The frequency of heavy precipitation events has increased over most areas. From 1900 to 2005, precipitation increased significantly in eastern parts of North and South America, northern Europe and northern and central Asia but declined in the Sahel, the Mediterranean, southern Africa and parts of southern Asia. Yet globally, the area affected by drought has likely increased since the 1970s.

AR4 reflects a higher level of confidence than its predecessor report (TAR) in projected patterns of warming and other regional-scale features, including changes in wind patterns, precipitation, and some aspects of extremes and sea ice.

Anthropogenic warming would lead to some impacts that are abrupt or irreversible, including the partial loss of ice sheets in ice polar land with associated major changes in coastlines and low-lying areas caused by sea-level rise. Approximately 20-30% of species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk of extinction under the warming scenarios. Large scale and persistent changes in Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) will have impacts on marine ecosystem productivity, fisheries, ocean CO2 uptake and terrestrial vegetation.

Projected sear-level rise under different GHG concentration scenarios from thermal expansion alone—i.e., not factoring in ice melt. Click to enlarge.

One finding that Dr. Pachauri highlighted specifically in his overview to the press on Saturday was the amount of sea-level rise already locked in due solely to thermal expansion caused by the increase in global temperatures at current levels of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations: between 0.4 to 1.4 meters.

We have already committed the world to a sea level rise through thermal expansion alone, noted on the chart [at right]. This in itself is quite serious.

—Dr. Pachauri

On the other hand, AR4 finds that there exist a wide variety of policies and instruments enabling governments to create the incentives for mitigation action. One of the most important of these is a carbon price signal.

This [carbon pricing] is an important finding. If we want action, then clearly there has to be a price attached to carbon which will move us to a low-carbon economy.

—Dr. Pachauri
Highlighted mitigation technologies and practices (top) and adaptation options/strategies (bottom) for the transport sector. Click to enlarge.

In his presentation, Dr. Pachauri also raised four questions that he had developed “as an individual”, that he hopes the delegates in the Bali meeting will consider:

  • How do we define what constitutes “dangerous anthropogenic” climate change?

  • How do we prepare the human race to face sea level rise & a world with new geographical features?

  • Is the current pace and pattern of development sustainable?

  • What changes in lifestyles, behavior patterns and management practices are needed, and by when?

What we really need is a new ethic by which every human being realizes the importance of the challenge we are facing and starts taking action...through changes in lifestyle, through changes in behavior.

—Dr. Pachauri




This report is based on Feburary data. The current projections are for a potential 7 metre sea level rise.
Damm, I'll have to postpone that O'seas holiday.
If this all seems grim, I Must beg to forward a different view.
For those of us who can do the math on the back of the eyelid. It's actually wonderfull news because:
Finally the gravitas of the situation is fully disclosed.
Only the truth is of any use under these scenario.
Only by being informed can we get EVERYONE on board.
Wherever we are going, we are going there together.

I prefer good company on such or any journey and I do believe that we are all capable of that. Wether or not we will make the right choice is up to us.
We are on notice.
I put it like this There is a book of (blank )tickets. Every individual has one chance to choose their own destination (destiny.)
After carefull consideration we will be required to fill in a chosen destination.
That will be where we go.
It's up to us.
Stay focused and remember that Nature looks after It's own.
Keep it in mind also that when this ones sorted, the next hass will be hot on the heels.

green puppy

As always, think globally and act locally. Each of us who are concerned about this issue needs to prod their local communities and town leaders to take drastic action now. That is what I am doing in my local community and progress is being made as a result of citizen action. But we need to press harder and will.

Stan Peterson

The Red Queen of Hearts is still at her "Sentence First Trial later!" stage at the Alice-in-Wonderland of IPCC publishing schedules.

Only the perversion of the scientific method that CS Lewis satirized so well in his Alice stories, can match the actual chutzpah of the IPCC. In the IPVV world, you publish the recommendations with out publishing the Scientific Paper on which the recommendations are supposedly based first. Presumably so no one can criticize the recommendations.

In the normal case of Science, the Science Paper itself is published. Then the audience of scientific peers can digest the facts in the Paper. And then the peers can ascertain the merit,assess the findings and themselves make proper conclusions and recommendations.

The IPCC perverts Science in this ridiculous way. The Synthesis Report is yet another Summary proudly boasted as being written by a handful of Scientists and multitude of politician-bureaucrats "from 140 countries". It isn't the actual scientific paper of Interim Report itself. That is still pending publication.

Fortunately, drafts of the actual paper are circulating on the net. The drafts say that the power of GHGs to alter the climate is being emasculated, by new Science. Further with more to emasculation to follow after a series of calibrating experiments will conclude before the NEXT Interim Report.

In other words, what was originally feared to occur in a hundred years might take ten times as long or a thousand years to occur. Meanwhile a fractional increase in a single degree of warming might be attributed to human intervention over the nest century. Just as the skeptics have been saying all along.

What the draft Science paper of the IPCC doesn't say, is that such a warming is all to the good, and quite beneficial, to Society every time it has happened before.

You're nuts, Stan. Plain and simple.


Stan comes from the La-Rouche scool of parrot training. A quasi religious group dedicated to the Nuke in every back yard Philosiphy. You'll recognise them by the following: 'so you value trees more than people?' gag.

The comments to this entry are closed.