A call to action on climate change | Bangkok Post: opinion

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A call to action on climate change

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The latest US Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report should silence climate change deniers, but, of course, it won't. The third National Climate Assessment is the work of more than 240 climate scientists and, after extensive review from the National Academies of Sciences, is awaiting submission to the federal government pending further review. The report draws mostly from studies done in the US, but since climate patterns don't respect national borders it can be assumed that its conclusions can be universally applied; as well, much of the data was compiled globally. 

In its introduction the report says, "Continued warming and an increased understanding of the US temperature record, as well as multiple other sources of evidence, have strengthened our confidence in the conclusions that the warming trend is clear and primarily the result of human activities."

The report also says heavy precipitation and instances of extreme heat are increasing in a manner consistent with model projections and the risks of such extreme events will rise in the future, and calls the continuing sharp decline in summer Arctic sea ice "unprecedented" and "consistent with human-induced climate change". Other crucial findings are that the global sea level has risen by about 23cm since reliable record keeping began in 1880, and if carbon dioxide emissions stay on the same upward trajectory it is projected to rise another 0.3-1.2m. What's more, if we stay anywhere near our current emissions path, average land temperatures across the continental US are projected to rise a minimum of 5C in the later part of this century.

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