Latest report from the IPCC folks

If you follow discussions on Global Climate Change, you’d have to be living under a rock to not know that the IPCC released its latest sub-report on Friday, April 6th.

There are three sub-reports scheduled this year and, jointly, they make up the 4th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report.

The first sub-report this year concluded with 90% certainty that human activities are causing the rise in global atmospheric temperatures. This 2nd sub-report of the year focuses on the consequences of the warming that’s in progress – and the news is not good.

Bloggers and news organizations have been all over this story for a week working on early leaked documents, final draft documents and final release documents. It’s been a free-for-all and I’m not sure that I can add a lot to the conversation so I’m just going to link to some of the more interesting on-line articles I’ve seen on this topic. Below are links to various stories I’ve found on the web about this latest IPCC report along with a brief note about each link.

– This is a brief history of the IPCC reports in general. It discusses their purpose and the various versions that have been released to date.

– This is a summary in Scientific American about the most recent sub-report.

– This is an opinion piece in the New York Times discussing whether or not grim news like this might finally serve to break President Bush out of his long-standing denial of the problem. (See note at the bottom about the NY Times)

– This is the final draft as the scientists wanted it. But, at the eleventh hour, several governments lobbied to water certain sections down to better align things with their ‘political’ views of reality.

– This is another piece from this NY Times – this time from their environmental section discussing the findings of the sub-report in general. (See note at the bottom about the NY Times)

– This piece is, itself, an aggregation of articles from other news sources. This is from Time Magazine’s Blog called The Ag.

– This is a piece from the Washington Post discussing how the IPCC sub-report was watered down by several governments over the objections of the scientists at the last moment.

– This is another piece from the environmental section of the New York Times. It discusses the consequences of Global Warming as outlined in the IPCC sub-report. (See note at the bottom about the NY Times)

– This is from National Geographic and it explores the consequences of the consequences described by the IPCC. I.e., that these changes may in turn spur extinctions, shortages and conflicts world wide.

– This article from CNN discusses the tension and anger that were palpable in the last hours, before the final version of this sub-report was issued, between the scientists and the governments lobbying to water the report down.

– This is a summary of the IPCC Summary for Policy Makers – Part I, II, & III.

That’s 11 articles. I could have gone on and gathered up another dozen without breaking a sweat. This story’s big and everyone is reporting on it, Blogging on it, analyzing it and rendering opinions about it. I didn’t go to see what the climate skeptics are saying but I’m sure they are churning out vast quantities of confusion and disinformation to deflect the sharp edges of this report.

Frankly, it amazes me that we still need to try and convince people that something is going on with global climate change. And, what amazes me more, is that humanity’s response to this problem has been so pitifully inadequate to date. And now President Bush is saying he thinks we’re doing enough at the same time other folks are saying that we’re way past being able to stop these changes, and now we just need to figure out the best way to cope with the unavoidable.

We’re in some serious doo-doo here, folks. If humanity survives this mess, then it would be interesting to read the history books two hundred years on (if we could be here) and read their opinions about the self-destructive stupidity of our age.

Note that there have been four IPPC reports since the series of reports were begun by the UN in 1990. The current, or fourth, IPCC report is broken into three parts which will be issued at different times over this year. I’ve taken to calling these three reports ‘sub-reports‘ to differ them from their aggregate form. After all, if we call the aggregates and the pieces all ‘reports’, it can get a bit confusing.


– Some of these articles are from the NY Times and they insist that folks have an ID and a PW in order to read their stuff. You can get these for free just by signing up. However, recently, a friend of mine suggested the website :arrow: as an alternative to having to do these annoying sign ups. Check it out. Thx Bruce S. for the tip.

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