This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 23, 2013

Human Influence on Climate Clear: IPCC report

Human influence on the climate system is clear, according to a new assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Released on September 27, Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis concludes that it is "extremely likely" that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The IPCC assessment cites more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response, and better climate models as the bases for its findings.

Among the assessment's key points is the finding that warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. The IPCC report also finds that ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, and that during the past two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass and glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide. See the IPCC press release PDF and the IPCC website.