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MONDAY FEBRUARY 5 - INTERNATIONAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE SPEAKS
About a week ago in Shanghai, China, a group of several hundred scientists issued
its report on climate change - a report given only once every five years. This
"International Panel on Climate Change" is sponsored by the United Nations, and
represents the best international effort at a non-partisan evaluation of global
warming and other climate-change issues.
Their most important conclusion - the one I'm sure will generate the most
controversy - is a
projection of future global warming of between 2 and 10oF
over the next 100 years.
Now realize, this projection is based almost entirely on computer models, which are
still far from perfect. That uncertainty is reflected in the huge range of the
projection, from 2 to 10oF. But the fact is that every one of a dozen or so
different computer models that were used predicts at least some warming. This
consistency, plus new observational evidence of warming in recent decades, has even
some of the hardened global-warming skeptics now agreeing that if we continue to pump
carbon dioxide into the air, the world will warm. The main questions now are how
quickly and how much?