News / Science & Technology

Scientists 95% Certain Climate Change Is Man-made

Scientists 95% Certain Climate Change is Man-made i
September 27, 2013 11:02 PM
Scientists are more certain than ever before that the planet is warming and that humans are to blame. That’s the finding of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the assessment will help inform policy makers and the public as they consider what action to take on climate change.]]
Rosanne Skirble
Scientists are more certain than ever that the planet is warming and that humans are to blame.

That’s the finding of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The assessment will help inform policy makers and the public as they consider what action to take on climate change.

One hundred and ten governments adopted the scientific consensus that, “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

Wake-up call

At a news conference in Stockholm Friday, World Meteorological Organization Secretary General Michael Jarraud underscored the importance of the finding.

“It should serve as another wake-up call that our activities today will have a profound impact on society, not only for us, but for many generations to come,” Jarraud said.  

Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass and glaciers continue to shrink, the report says, calling the decrease in Arctic sea ice, “unprecedented.” The report notes the mean rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century is higher than at any time in the previous 2,000 years.

The international panel also probed the connection between extreme weather events and climate, says Brenda Ekwurzel, senior climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, who has worked with the panel's authors.  

“This is a lot of cutting edge research, and the most we can say is that extreme events dealing with coastal flooding and extreme heat, [we have] very high confidence with these events being linked to climate change,” Ekwurzel said.

Climate change deniers have tried to dismiss the science, citing a 15-year slowdown in atmospheric warming. That was downplayed in the report, which called it a natural phenomenon that masks on-going warming. The report reiterates the 2007 assessment that the warming trend is “unequivocal,” according to Ekwurzel.  

“The 5th Assessment report has really notched up the confidence level, that greater than 95 percent confidence of the likelihood that the warming that happened on this planet between 1951 and 2010, more than half of it is due to human activities,” she said.
Those human activities include the burning of fossil fuels in factories, buildings and cars, which emit heat-trapping gasses.

Moving forward

Past IPCC reports have set the stage for world agreements like the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 climate treaty signed and ratified by 192 nations that expired in 2012. The United Nation’s top climate official says the new IPCC report will help move climate talks forward.     

“That policy response will have to end up in a global agreement that is going to be legally based and applicable to all countries and will be adopted in 2015. And for that, governments are already working,” Christiana Figueres said.  

While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is sometimes criticized as appearing to be too conservative in its predictions, Figueres says this report is right on the mark.

“Everything that we thought about climate change has been underestimated, that we will have much faster and much more intense effects from the growing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," she said. "So it’s a very sobering message that calls for a more invigorated and accelerated policy response to address that.”

Government leaders and climate experts will get an opportunity to do that at the next round of climate negotiations in Warsaw, Poland in November.

Friday’s IPCC report will be followed next year by reports on the impact of climate change and what can be done about it.

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: mememine69 from: Toronto
October 26, 2013 3:03 PM
Why are YOU news editors reporting that my kids are doomed to their CO2 deaths in a CO2 climate crisis that YOU say WILL happen when science has NEVER agreed anything beyond "could be" a crisis?
Only news editors and politicians believe in this Reefer Madness of Climate Blame and your 30 plus years of needless CO2 panic is for history to judge as a war crime.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
September 30, 2013 1:21 AM
I am sure they are IPCC members themselves those who are the most aware of uncertainty of their announcement and ineffectiveness to have any governments conduct any countermeasures against would-be climate changes and global warming. USA left Kyoto-protocol. It is said that it is only Japan that actually reduced Co2 discharge.

by: km
September 29, 2013 12:20 PM
The idiot scientists should learn how a vegetable greenhouse works before publishing their nonsense to the world.
If CO2 reflects back some outgoing radiation then it must also reflect out to space some incoming radiation.
How long has this farce been going on! The climate scientists should be sacked and not allowed to teach science to children. They are unaware of the meaning of the word science. These buffoons are unaware that science does not mean speculation!

by: Al Bore from: Earth
September 29, 2013 9:41 AM
Science has NEVER agreed or said their own 30 year old crisis WILL be an inevitable crisis, only "could be" and "likely" and.... Deny that!
Big Oil doesn't feed us deniers, it's the fact that you believers are saying a crisis WILL happen when science has never agreed on anything beyond "could be" a crisis from Human CO2. WHO is the fear monger here again? If you remaining believers could convince the the millions of people in the global scientific community to agree a crisis is "inevitable" instead of "possible", then this costly debate to "save the planet" would end instantly. But fear and fear alone is the only motivator you doomers know. You climate blamers didn't love the planet, you just hated humanity itself and consider this Liberalism's own Iraq War and did Bush condemn billions of helpless children to an exaggerated crisis just to make sure they stayed environmentally aware and turned the lights out more often. Your Reefer Madness of a 30 year old "maybe" crisis is unsustainable so get ahead of the curve like Occupy has:
*Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
*Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).
We need liberals who doubt question and challenge authority not goose step obediently to an authority that condemns the entire planet earth.

by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Daikanyama, T-site
September 27, 2013 9:06 PM
Please give me an answer for the following questions.

1. Why dose sea level rise by melting floating ices?
Have you ever seen a glass of water with ices?
Does the water level rise after melting all ices?

2. What is wrong with increasing sea level just some centimeters during tens of years?
Will that struck us suddenly like tsunami?
Are people living at coast too fool to make any countermeasure against that change?
In Response

by: Dave from: Tacoma
September 29, 2013 5:33 PM
Your using logic and reason to arrive at some decent questions that deserve to be answered but the truth is Global Climate Change is not really about the environment or any so called attempt at saving mother earth. The reason for the movement is "money", It is a big money grab by the worlds governments to generate more cash flow so they can get more control and go on and on and on. We do not and never will control the temperature of the planet.

by: Manda Ginjiro from: Minami, Namba
September 27, 2013 8:45 PM
Why do you media use video clips of smoke coming out from a funnel in order to describe climate change due to CO2? That is just vapor , steam, not CO2 !!

They think most people are foolish and do not know anything.
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
September 30, 2013 4:53 AM
Does not the amount of Co2 discharge parallel to the amount of white funnel? Eventhough white funnel is actually vapor, does not it represent exhaust gas as easily noticed by general people? Do reporters really think people foolish?

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
September 27, 2013 8:20 PM
The tectonic breakup and the collusion of Africa and Eurasian plates resulted in forming dry land between north Africa and southern Europe in 12-5 million years ago. The Mediterranean area was filled with water from north Atlantic ocean through the Straight of Gibralter in about 5.33 million years ago. The water flow from Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea happened in a very short time of two years. The super volcanic eruption of Yellowstone, U.S.A. in about 630,000 years ago resulted in the formation of the Island Park Caldera, Idaho. This volcanic eruption caused the extinction of several species of animals including dinosaurs. North Africa became drier in about 75,000 B.C. and this dry spell in north Africa was a contributory for the human population reduced to the verge of extinction. The eruption of Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia in 75,000-72,000 B.C was one of the two worst catastrophic events in human history that reduced the human population to the verge of extinction reducing the human population to about 10,000 humans. This volcanic eruption caused the volcanic winter cooling the earth for a millennium reducing the temperature from 3-15C depending on the elevation. The Mousterian Pluvial is an extended period of wet and rainy climate in north Africa from 52,000-32,000 years ago. The Sahara desert area was a giant inland sea in about 20,000 B.C. at the end of the Second Mousterian Pluvial of extended period of wet and rainy whether in North Africa. The last glacial period was in 18,00-15,000 B.C.. the sea level was about 361-394 feet below the present sea level indicating the rise of sea level consumed several low lying areas under water. Temporary global chilling occurred in 9000 B.C. because of the southward move of Gulf Stream resulting in ice over Europe. The Ice Age ended in 8000 B.C.. The period from 8000-3000 B.C. was a period of warm climate known as the Atlantic Period. the world sea level began to rise due to melting of ice in Antarctica. Warming in Asia began and the glaciers receded in North America. There was no more glaciers in Wisconsin, U.S.A. The receding glaciers formed the rock formations known as Old Man of the mountain in New Hampshire, U.S.A.. Post glacial warming started around the world. Flooding occurred in several low lying area in several regions of the world. during this period about 40 million animals vanished. Studies conducted in polar ice revealed a series of seven massive volcanic eruptions from 7911- 7090 B.C. which lowered the temperature around the world for several centuries. Are the scientists 95% sure that the above climatic changes are human made?
In Response

by: Manda Ginjiro from: Minami, Namba, Osaka
September 28, 2013 8:16 PM
Make it short, if you want someone to read.

by: Dr. B from: Sacramento CA
September 27, 2013 1:43 PM
wow... 95%...??? hey UN... just pass a resolution condemning the US and Israel... - you clowns!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs