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Earth Still Warming Despite 'Hiatus,' Canadian Scientist Says

Science & Tech  (tags: interesting, environment, research, IPCC, UN, climate change, global warming, science, scientists, study )

- 1670 days ago -
Global warming skeptics, citing the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about a 'temperature hiatus,' are failing to see the bigger picture, says a Canadian scientist and contributing author to the assessment.

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Michael O (176)
Saturday September 28, 2013, 2:55 pm
"One can’t really draw any strong conclusions about a change in trend over a very short period like that," said Dr. Greg Flato, a research scientist with Environment Canada and part of the Canadian delegation on the IPPC panel in Stockholm, Sweden.

"It’s clear from our understanding that [the Earth] will continue to warm as greenhouse gas concentrations rise in the atmosphere."

A manager at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis in Victoria, B.C., Flato told the CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald that the IPCC’s report maintains that the human influence on climate change is only becoming more certain.

"The evidence is getting stronger and stronger that the climate is changing, and many aspects of that changing climate can be attributed to human activities," Flato said, noting that this certainty is beginning to outweigh evidence the changes are due to the Earth’s "natural cycle."

All this week climate scientists and government representatives from close to 190 countries met to finalize the IPCC’s fifth assessment for policymakers — a report focused on current climate science and computer models that attempt to predict future trajectories.

The report says there was a 15-year period between 1998 and 2012 where the temperature of land and air have flatlined, and referred to this as a "temperature hiatus."

The IPCC assessments are important because they form the scientific basis of UN negotiations on a new climate deal.

Canada's Conservative government responded to the report by slamming past so-called Liberal inaction and an alleged NDP carbon tax.

"Unlike the previous Liberal government, under whose watch greenhouse gas emissions rose by almost 30 per cent, or the NDP, who want a $21-billion carbon tax, our government is actually reducing greenhouse gases and standing up for Canadian jobs," Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a release.

Aglukkaq said the government "takes great pride in the work of all its scientists, who contribute every day to the assessment and advancement of science, both at home and on the international stage."

Dr. John Stone, a former chief climate scientist with Environment Canada, was part of the first IPCC report and told Quirks & Quarks that so far the response to climate change has been "slow."

"I’m not sure that more science is going to make that change, because we’ve had enough science to tell us we’ve got a problem," said Stone, who is now a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa.

"I think what we need to focus on now, and perhaps this will help governments act, is looking at the solutions, not so much to finding the problems, which is what we’ve done in the past."

Stone noted that Canada’s contribution to science in the area of climate change has changed over time because of a slash in federal funding.

"The volumes of our contributions are perhaps not as strong as they used to be," Stone said. "There are questions about how scientists are treated, how science has been treated, how the evidence that’s quite clear — particularly in climate change — is not being acted upon. It’s quite embarrassing at times."

Rose Becke (141)
Saturday September 28, 2013, 5:29 pm
Hi Micheal David, Suzuki , is here in Oz and he really got stuck into the Canadian government

Julia R (296)
Sunday September 29, 2013, 1:00 am
If governments fail to act on what science is learning then we will be unprepared for changes on such a scale that will be unprecedented in our history!

Danuta W (1248)
Sunday September 29, 2013, 1:22 am

Past Member (0)
Sunday September 29, 2013, 1:49 am
Thanks for the update.

Past Member (0)
Sunday September 29, 2013, 2:40 am

Past Member (0)
Sunday September 29, 2013, 4:14 am
When can the human take the lesson from what they've been doing to themselves?

Carmen S (611)
Sunday September 29, 2013, 4:29 am
Thanks for sharing this, Michael

Kerrie G (116)
Sunday September 29, 2013, 7:24 am
Noted, thanks.

Birgit W (160)
Sunday September 29, 2013, 12:56 pm
Thanks for the informative article Michael. I wonder when Canada is finally starting to save our environment.

Roger G (154)
Sunday September 29, 2013, 1:39 pm
noted, thanks

Past Member (0)
Monday September 30, 2013, 3:51 am
But I have a feeling that this was not the case.

Jonathan Harper (0)
Monday September 30, 2013, 4:41 am

Jennifer Ward (40)
Monday September 30, 2013, 5:31 am
Read the comments- they're all sceptical. Own goal methinks

Winn A (179)
Monday September 30, 2013, 7:57 am

R T (14)
Tuesday October 1, 2013, 5:34 am
I fail to understand why we fund research into climate change and then ignore the facts.
Seems pretty pointless and stupid to me but then again I am not a politician.

Melania P (122)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 2:55 pm
It is really dangerous to ignore the facts and evidence.... We have no idea what global warming can bring, the effects are just beginning!
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