Scientists increasingly certain human activity is the dominant cause of global warming
Lots of constituents contact me about climate change - some keen for the Government to do more than it is currently doing to address this issue; others questioning whether the planet is warming or whether, if it is, this is mainly as a result of human activity (or whether, if both these things are true, we would be better adapting to a warmer world rather than trying to stop it happen).
The same debate goes on at Westminster and, as someone with a scientific background, I am often depressed by the lack of reference to the evidence.
If you're interested in the evidence, the International Panel on Climate Change has recently published its fifth assessment report . It says that:
- "warming of the climate system is unequivocal and, since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased"; and
- "human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise and in changes in some climate extremes. This evidence for human influence has grown since AR4 [their fourth assessment report]. It is extremely likely [by which they mean at least 95% certainty] that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century".
You can read a useful BBC summary here and the full report here.