Climate Change Facts

Stephen Leahy, IPS-Inter Press Service: Thawing Permafrost May Be “Huge Factor” in Global Warming, Feb 14, 2013

Scientists are now discovering processes in melting permafrost that could cause much great acceleration of climate change than previously realized. Current widely accepted projections of greenhouse gas levels and temperature rises, which are alarming enough, do not include input from permafrost melt data, which is only beginning to be produced. Leahy cites published studies and quotes several climate scientists who warn that the “tipping point” will come much sooner than previously thought, and that the world has already missed its chance to do something about it.

Heather Stewart and Larry Elliott, The Guardian/The Observer: Nicholas Stern: ‘I got it wrong on climate change – it’s far, far worse’, Jan 26, 2013

Economist Stern created controversy in 2006 with his dire warnings on climate change. Now he sees that he underestimated the risks and should have been even more blunt. “This is potentially so dangerous that we have to act strongly. Do we want to play Russian roulette with two bullets or one?”  World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, echoes his sentiments: “People are starting to connect the dots [from extreme weather to human-induced climate change]. If they start to forget, I am there to remind them.”

The World Bank: Climate Change Report Warns of Dramatically Warmer World This Century, Nov 18, 2012

This is a summary of the recently released 106-page World Bank commissioned report. It warns “we are on track to a 4°C warmer world marked by extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life-threatening sea level rise… ‘A 4°C warmer world can, and must be, avoided – we need to hold warming below 2°C,’ said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. ‘Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest.'”

Full report: Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided

Video: World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim (1 min+)


Jo Confino, The Guardian: Business warned to prepare for catastrophic impacts, Nov 5, 2012

At least some segments of big business are beginning to take note of climate catastrophe. PricewaterhouseCoopers points to dire results if something is not done immediately: “Even doubling our current rate of decarbonisation would still lead to emissions consistent with 6 degrees [C] of warming by the end of the century. To give ourselves a more than 50% chance of avoiding 2 degrees [C] will require a six-fold improvement in our rate of decarbonisation.”

James Hansen, TED Talks: Why I must speak out about climate change (18 min)
Filmed Feb 2012, Published Mar 2012

“Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.”