News24

Feeling the heat? We are to blame

2011-11-29 16:42

Durban - The world is getting hotter, with 2011 one of the warmest years on record, and humans are to blame, a report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Tuesday.

It warned increasing global average temperatures were expected to amplify floods, droughts and other extreme weather patterns.

"Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming and that this warming is due to human activities," WMO Deputy Secretary General Jerry Lengoasa told reporters in Durban, where almost 200 nations are gathered for UN climate talks.

The WMO, part of the United Nations, said the warmest 13 years of average global temperatures have all occurred in the 15 years since 1997. That has contributed to extreme weather conditions that increase the intensity of droughts and heavy precipitation across the world, it said.

"Global temperatures in 2011 are currently the tenth highest on record and are higher than any previous year with a La Nina event, which has a relative cooling influence," it said

This year, the global climate was influenced heavily by the strong La Nina, a natural phenomenon usually linked to extreme weather in Asia-Pacific, South America and Africa, which developed in the tropical Pacific in the second half of 2010 and continued until May 2011.

One of the strongest such events in 60 years, it was closely associated with the drought in east Africa, islands in the central equatorial Pacific and the United States, as well as severe flooding in other parts of the world.

The WMO report was released to coincide with UN climate talks which run until December 9 in Durban aimed at trying to reach agreement on cutting planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

Prospects bleak

Prospects for a meaningful agreement appear bleak with the biggest emitters the United States and China unwilling to take on binding cuts until the other does first.

Major players Japan, Canada and Russia are unwilling to extend commitments that expire next year and the European Union is looking at 2015 as a deadline for reaching a new global deal.

The WMO report said the extent of Arctic sea ice in 2011 was the second lowest on record, and its volume was the lowest.

It said the build-up of greenhouse gases put the world at a tipping point of irreversible changes in ecosystems.

"Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached new highs," WMO Secretary General Michel Jarraud said in a separate statement.

"They are very rapidly approaching levels consistent with a 2 - 2.4°C rise in average global temperatures which scientists believe could trigger far reaching and irreversible changes in our Earth, biosphere and oceans."

Russia experienced the largest variation from average, with its northern parts seeing January to October temperatures about 4°C in several places, it said.

UN scientists said in a separate report this month an increase in heat waves is almost certain, while heavier rainfall, more floods, stronger cyclones, landslides and more intense droughts are likely across the globe this century as the Earth's climate warms.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said global average temperatures could rise by 3 - 6°C by the end of the century if governments failed to contain emissions, bringing unprecedented destruction as glaciers melt, sea levels rise and small island states are submerged.

Comments
  • BA - 2011-11-29 18:07

    Why don't these pseudoscientists not rather get a real job and add value to the economy instead of lobbying for this scam

  • AnthonyZA - 2011-11-29 18:09

    Such crap, the world has been hotter than this, about a century or so ago they were growing grapes in London. Somebody is making money from this, like they did with the whole "We have caused a hole in the ozone layer" rubbish. So what will you do if we stop burning things and suddenly a volcano erupts and spews more into the atmosphere than we have tried to save? Find a big cork?

      Ernst - 2011-11-29 18:45

      You are right and all the scientists with PHD's, actively publishing in peer reviewed journals, are wrong.

      Ernst - 2011-11-29 18:48

      Here is a rudimentary list of prestigious scientific organizations that, based on PEER-REVIEWEDresearch, endorse Anthropogenic Global Warming: Scientific organizations endorsing the consensus The following scientific organizations endorse the consensus position that "most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities": American Association for the Advancement of Science American Astronomical Society American Chemical Society American Geophysical Union American Institute of Physics American Meteorological Society American Physical Society Australian Coral Reef Society Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO British Antarctic Survey Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Environmental Protection Agency European Federation of Geologists European Geosciences Union European Physical Society Federation of American Scientists Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies Geological Society of America Geological Society of Australia International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics National Center for Atmospheric Research National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Royal Meteorological Society Royal Society of the UK

      Ernst - 2011-11-29 18:50

      "Somebody is making money from this, like they did with the whole "We have caused a hole in the ozone layer" rubbish." Yes, the fossil fuel (coal, oil gas, etc,) industry, a trillion dollar industry, is making big money by action not being taken.

      Ernst - 2011-11-29 19:06

      ""We have caused a hole in the ozone layer" rubbish." Below is a link to a persons research regarding ozone depletion, in the 90's. In the early 90's goverments were warned about the hole in the ozone layer (due to human manufactured CFC's). They came together and formed the Montreal protocol which called for the phasing out of CFC's. Today we are reaping the rewards as the ozone layer has recovered. http://archive.sciencewatch.com/sept-oct2002/sw_sept-oct2002_page3.htm

      Warren - 2011-11-29 21:44

      Who cares about the whats and whys. An undisputed fact is that humans are polluting the planet on an unprecendented scale. If we clean up our act and the planet for all the wrong reasons would that really be such a bad thing?

  • Elaine - 2011-11-29 19:33

    You can try and cut green house gasses all you like and then along comes a big volcano, spewing stuff miles high, covering everything over several continents and you're back to where you started. And HOW many volcanoes have erupted this year...?

      Ernst - 2011-11-29 19:52

      Volcanoes emit around 0.3 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. This is about 1% of human CO2 emissions which is around 29 billion tonnes per year. See: http://www.skepticalscience.com/volcanoes-and-global-warming-intermediate.htm

      ludlowdj - 2011-11-30 10:14

      Avergae daily volcanic activity is currently in the region of 40+ minor eruption per day 400 percent more than in any other period in recorded history. Earth quake activity is in the region of 40 to 60 measurable tremors per day excluding tremor swarms which can be as high as 10 000 a day, the most active period in over six hundred years. not to mention sea slosh which is currently registering a twelve hour high/low movement on buoys on both sides of the world. And to all the sheeple sprouting PHD and scientific bodys as reasons to believe this bull.......the prophecies predict that I will have 7.5 weeks to make you feel the fools you are before all heel breaks loose....or 7.5 weeks to grovel and beg forgiveness once the red dragon is plain to see in the sky

      Ernst - 2011-11-30 11:48

      ludlowdj: And what are your qualifications? Back your claims up with citations, pointing to peer-reviewed research, please.

  • Wesley - 2011-11-30 03:23

    @Ernst, peer reviewed journals are not what they say they are. They publish the fantasitcal and the research is often funded by large corporations. It has a slant. I have no doubt that Humans are polluting the planet, but the planet is in a warming trend, without humans it would still be getting hotter(there are some peer reviewed articles for that too, but I am not a twat and don't feel the need to show off the fact that I have been to university). Also, we don't understand the weather. Ice Ages can be triggered in a hundred years, and they can be over in just as little time. Humans are contributing, but are not the cause. Also peer review journals said there was no way we were related to neanderthals, they now say "without a doubt" that we are. Come on, what's next? This summit is naive in the first place, you think America, Russia and China are really going to turn off their economies? Millions without Jobs, oil is super important to the worlds economies, plastics, lubricants, fuel. The spin-offs of oil are nearly endless and employs million upon millions of people, must they now starve? in this case prevention is not better than cure, curing the problem will in turn create more jobs. This is how the world works.

      Ernst - 2011-11-30 08:58

      "@Ernst, peer reviewed journals are not what they say they are" And how would you know? Have you ever written a paper and published it in a peer-reviewed scientific journal? Of all the processes available, peer-review is the most robust system. The technology you have today is becuase of the peer-reviewed scientific system.

  • ludlowdj - 2011-11-30 10:03

    At least the WMO has placed in print its claim of proof, so we will have the proof of its complicity in what is nothing short of one of the biggest scams perpetrated against the common man in several decades. Climate change is not man made it is a natural cycle which can be traced back to the time of the earths creation. Anyone who buys into this nonsense deserves to be fleeced. soon the truth will be plain to see in the sky and governments ability to continue the cover up will be stopped and the sheeple will then realize how much treason has been committed against them by their governments in the name of democracy. I for one await the fall of the worlds governments with eager anticipation.

      Ernst - 2011-11-30 11:46

      No, you are wrong. I suggest you see: http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period-intermediate.htm

  • mooketsi.nthite - 2011-11-30 10:40

    Ok, are you guys saying Climate Change is not really caused by human beings, that figures are just exaggerated as another reason to tax us?

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