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The first portion of a report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was published in Stockholm on Friday morning. It asserted what many already knew and what others suspected: that the main cause of climate change is human action.
According to an IPCC press release, the more than 800 scientists who authored the report found that it was extremely likely (95 percent – 100 percent) that humans have been the dominant cause of global warming, or global climate change, since the 1950s.
Co-Chair Thomas Stoker added that temperatures worldwide are expected to increase by 1.5°C – 2°C relative to 1850 to 1900 by the end of the 21st century. He added, “Heat waves are very likely to occur more frequently and last longer. As the Earth warms, we expect to see currently wet regions receiving more rainfall, and dry regions receiving less, although there will be exceptions.”
In particular, the report outlines the human practice of burning fossil fuels as one of the major driving forces behind the warming of oceans, melting of glaciers, rising sea levels, and etc., BBC reports. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, as well as the levels of methane and nitrous oxide.
The report’s authors have said that many geoengineering technologies proposed to fighting climate change have some merit, but that they are not without side-effects, and that despite these measures, some portion of global warming will nonetheless remain irreversible.