Climate Change: Impacting our world

By: Jessica Lucena

Editor: Vanessa Dwyer

Could humans really be impacting the world? In a recent draft from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is with more certainty humans are behind the planets rising temperatures.

The 5th report, to be released in 2014, was leaked in June possessing details suggesting that human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation is responsible for more than half of the current warming. In 2007, their most recent published report, the IPCC suggested that it was “very likely” that humans are the cause of the increase in temperature the planet is experiencing. According to the leaked draft, the level of certainty has risen from that “very likely” to “extremely likely” after the panels most recent findings.

Found in the draft is the increase of sea levels from its 2007 projections of 7-23 inches to 10-32 inches by the end of the century. The leaked details also include observations that the rate of global warming between 1998 and 2012 has slowed down although that period includes one of the hottest decades on record.

A decrease in warming has early skeptics missing the conclusion of the draft. If emissions continue or increase this will “induce changes in all components in the climate system, some of which would very likely be unprecedented in hundreds to thousands of years.”

Jonathan Lynn, IPCC spokesperson declined to comment on the full reports contents as it has not been published or formally released yet. He did state however the report would offer “a comprehensive picture of all the science relevant to climate change, including the thousands of pieces of scientific research published since the last report in 2007 up to earlier this year.”

Reducing carbon emissions along with other threats to our planet system can improve the chances of a better world. Melissa Young, CRM (Certified Carbon Reduction Manager) and a Professor at Cumberland County College had prior experience managing a large corporations impact on climate change demonstrating the importance of making a change.

“Most people think to be green, you have to sacrifice your life style, I believe you just need to be more conscious about it and not be wasteful. Meaning don’t waste energy, don’t waste resources, and don’t make excess waste,” said Young.

According to Young, IPCC releases a report compromising their ability to not only take action, but also adapt in a change of lifestyle. Large corporations, companies, and municipalities on the other hand look to this report to strategize for the future. With different industries’ interest there is potential for changing viewpoints.

“Climate change has so many implications, from changing weather patterns and sea levels (which impact where humans live) to altering the biodiversity and habitats of other organisms, essentially the world, as we know it is changing.”

The IPCC’s leaked draft led to speculation among skeptics, but its primary purpose is to relay information and “provide a clear view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change.”

The final version of the 5th IPCC report will be released in Stockholm a week after the panels meeting.

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