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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
● Kind of the gold standard on climate change
● They have been around for a really long time, there are a bunch of reports that they
● Who: Globally recognized climate scientists. Founded by UN Environmental
Program and World Meteorological Association. Est. 1988. Four reports to date; a
5this in process
● Mission: Analyze best available data to develop predictions of the course of climate
○ Greenhouse gas levels
○ Temp. increases
○ Potential sea level rises
○ Human impacts
○ Ecological effects
Greenhouse Gas Sources
● CO2 from fossil fuel burning (big one!)
● Methane (CH4) rice fields and ruminant gas production (burping and flatulence =
17% of methane production mostly from livestock)
○ Release of methane from tundra and marine sediments – release enhanced by
warming of environment – potential for “runaway” greenhouse effects
● Natural climate change?
The Keeling Curve: CO2 vs. Time and Season
● 50 years of data of rising CO2
● Undeniable that were seeing changes in CO2 and temperature
● The big question is what is causing it?
Vostok-Antarctica Ice Core: (Vostok in Russian part of Antarctica)
o A 420,000 year record from core of ice 3,623 in length.
Nobody is arguing that the Earth is getting warmer, people are arguing about how it is
** Natural Factors (forcings) alone cannot explain recent temperature anomalies (variations)
● Observation and models do not follow how the natural processes of temperature
change shown in historical (ice core data)
Natural/ Anthropogenic forcings together can explain greater percentage of recent
● Observation natural plus anthropogenic forces follow recent temperature rise patterns.