Global warming a reality, 2 major science groups say

Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

WASHINGTON -- Man-made global warming is worsening and will disrupt both the natural world and human society, warns a joint report of two of the world's leading scientific organizations.

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society, which is the British national scientific academy, are releasing an unusual plain-language report on climate change that addresses 20 issues in a question-and-answer format.

"People do have persistent questions all about climate change," said study author Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California. "This is a one-stop shop for many of those questions."

The report, being released today, addresses new issues such as the recent slowing in the increase of world temperatures and how heat-trapping gases are connected to extreme weather.

The 36-page report said increases in extreme weather, melting glaciers, rising seas and oceans getting more acidic are already happening. And those changes are expected to lead to greater warming "and will threaten food production, freshwater supplies, coastal infrastructure and especially the welfare of the huge population currently living in low-lying areas," the report said.

While the rate of warming is slower in the 2000s than it was in the 1990s, the report said that fact doesn't negate 150 years of observations that show the world is warming.

The report also says more than 90 percent of heat trapped by greenhouse gases lately has been absorbed into the oceans' deep water, which for a while slows surface warming, but not the long-term trend.

There is enough evidence on the science to warrant action, Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said in a news release.

"We've changed the chemical composition of the atmosphere. That's not a belief system; we know that beyond shadow of a doubt," Mr. Santer said in an interview. "We ignore this at our peril."


Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here