Tuesday, January 23, 2007

  Report has 'smoking gun' on climate

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Mon Jan 22, 8:50 PM ET


WASHINGTON - Human-caused global warming is here -- visible in the air,
water and melting ice -- and is destined to get much worse in the
future, an authoritative global scientific report will warn next week.

"The smoking gun is definitely lying on the table as we speak," said top
U.S. climate scientist Jerry Mahlman, who reviewed all 1,600 pages of
the first segment of a giant four-part report. "The evidence ... is

* Andrew Weaver, a Canadian climate scientist and study co-author, went
even further: "This isn't a smoking gun; climate is a batallion of
intergalactic smoking missiles." *

The first phase of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is
being released in Paris next week. This segment, written by more than
600 scientists and reviewed by another 600 experts and edited by
bureaucrats from 154 countries, includes "a significantly expanded
discussion of observation on the climate," said co-chair Susan Solomon,
a senior scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. She and other scientists held a telephone briefing on
the report Monday.

That report will feature an "explosion of new data" on observations of
current global warming, Solomon said.

Solomon and others wouldn't go into specifics about what the report
says. They said that the 12-page summary for policymakers will be edited
in secret word-by-word by governments officials for several days next
week and released to the public on Feb. 2. The rest of that first report
from scientists will come out months later.

The full report will be issued in four phases over the year, as was the
case with the last IPCC report, issued in 2001.

Global warming is "happening now, it's very obvious," said Mahlman, a
former director of NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab who lives in
Boulder, Colo. "When you look at the temperature of the Earth, it's
pretty much a no-brainer."

Look for an "iconic statement" -- a simple but strong and unequivocal
summary -- on how global warming is now occurring, said one of the
authors, Kevin Trenberth, director of climate analysis at the National
Center for Atmospheric Research, also in Boulder.

The February report will have "much stronger evidence now of human
actions on the change in climate that's taken place," Rajendra K.
Pachauri told the AP in November. Pachauri, an Indian climatologist, is
the head of the international climate change panel.

An early version of the ever-changing draft report said "observations of
coherent warming in the global atmosphere, in the ocean, and in snow and
ice now provide stronger joint evidence of warming."

And the early draft adds: "An increasing body of evidence suggests a
discernible human influence on other aspects of climate including sea
ice, heat waves and other extremes, circulation, storm tracks and

The world's global average temperature has risen about 1.2 degrees
Fahrenheit from 1901 to 2005. The two warmest years on record for the
world were 2005 and 1998. Last year was the hottest year on record for
the United States.

The report will draw on already published peer-review science. Some
recent scientific studies show that temperatures are the hottest in
thousands of years, especially during the last 30 years; ice sheets in
Greenland in the past couple years have shown a dramatic melting; and
sea levels are rising and doing so at a faster rate in the past decade.

Also, the second part of the international climate panel's report -- to
be released in April -- will for the first time feature a blockbuster
chapter on how global warming is already changing health, species,
engineering and food production, said

NASA scientist
Cynthia Rosenzweig, author of that chapter.

As confident as scientists are about the global warming effects that
they've already documented, they are as gloomy about the future and even
hotter weather and higher sea level rises. Predictions for the future of
global warming in the report are based on 19 computer models, about
twice as many as in the past, Solomon said.

In 2001, the panel said the world's average temperature would increase
somewhere between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit and the sea level
would rise between 4 and 35 inches by the year 2100. The 2007 report
will likely have a smaller range of numbers for both predictions,
Pachauri and other scientists said.

The future is bleak, scientists said.

"We have barely started down this path," said chapter co-author Richard
Alley of Penn State University.


AP Special Correspondent Charles J. Hanley contributed to this report.


On the Net:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: http://www.ipcc.ch/

Monday, January 22, 2007

**Breaking News**
Ten Major U.S. Companies Join Environmental Defense and Others to Endorse Mandatory Limits on America's Global Warming Pollution.
Watch press conference live this morning on CSPAN at 11:30am Eastern.

Dear Daniel,

Major U.S. businesses support national global warming action.

Read more.

I want to share with you some exciting and truly historic news on our campaign to stop global warming.

This morning, ten major U.S. businesses and four national environmental organizations issued a joint report, A Call to Action (pdf file), calling on the federal government to quickly pass strong national legislation to cut global warming pollution.

You can watch the press conference live this morning on CSPAN at 11:30am Eastern. You will also be able to watch it online at CSPAN.org.

The companies involved in today's announcement are well-known Fortune 500 corporations: Alcoa, BP America, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, DuPont, Florida Power and Light, General Electric, Lehman Brothers, Pacific Gas & Electric, and PNM Resources.

They have joined Environmental Defense, the World Resources Institute, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, and Natural Resources Defense Council to form an unprecedented alliance — the United States Climate Action Partnership (US-CAP).

In today's announcement, the partners pledged to work together to support six recommendations for national action:

  1. Account for the global dimensions of climate change – the U.S. government should become more involved in international agreements to fight global warming;
  2. Recognize the importance of technology – the cost-effective deployment of existing energy efficient technologies should be a priority;
  3. Be environmentally effective – establish a mandatory cap that guarantees emissions will be cut and other measures to facilitate reaching the needed targets;
  4. Create economic opportunity and advantage – a climate protection program must use the power of the market to establish clear targets and timeframes;
  5. Be fair – global warming solutions must account for the disproportionate impact of both global warming and emissions reductions on some economic sectors, geographic regions, and income groups; and
  6. Encourage early action – prior to the effective date of mandatory pollution limits, every reasonable effort should be made to reduce emissions.

This unique cooperation of business and environmental leaders sends a clear signal to Congress: legislative action to cut America's global warming pollution is urgently needed.

Environmental Defense is thrilled to have played a role in building this unprecedented partnership and will look to take full advantage of the added momentum this brings to our efforts to pass meaningful global warming legislation this year.

For more on this announcement, go to our website.

Our work to fight global warming is made possible through the support of our dedicated members and online activists. I cannot thank you enough for your tremendous support.

I look forward to working with you as the 110th Congress begins to debate global warming and moves to enact the mandatory caps we need to cut emissions. This will be the test of this Congress on the top environmental priority of our generation.


Fred Krupp

New Warnings on Climate Change

"The language is far from final," said Kevin E. Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., who is a lead author of one section. "You can't say what the I.P.C.C. says until it actually says it."

"Jerry Mahlman, an emeritus researcher at the same center who was a reviewer of the report's single-spaced, 1,644-page summary of climate science, said that most of the leaks were from people eager to find elements that were the scariest or most reassuring."