The Associated Press will be reporting on Friday, according to the wires, that the world's leading climate scientists have said global warming has begun and is "very likely" caused by man, and will be unstoppable for centuries.
The scientists — using their strongest language yet on the issue — said now that world has begun to warm, hotter temperatures and rises in sea level "would continue for centuries" no matter how much humans control their pollution. The report also linked the warming to the recent increase in stronger hurricanes.
"The observed widespread warming of the atmosphere and ocean, together with ice-mass loss, support the conclusion that it is extremely unlikely that global climate change of the past 50 years can be explained without external forcing, and very likely that is not due to known natural causes alone," said the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a group of hundreds of scientists and representatives of 113 governments.
The phrase "very likely" translates to a more than 90 percent certainty that global warming is caused by man's burning of fossil fuels. That was the strongest conclusion to date, making it nearly impossible to say natural forces are to blame.
What that means in simple language is "we have this nailed," said top U.S. climate scientist Jerry Mahlman, who originated the percentage system.
The 20-page report, which was due to be officially released later in the day, represents the most authoritative science on global warming.
What to do? Take action by doing simple things like walking and becoming more self-reliant. Our modern existence is held together by a tenuous web called the power grid which controls everything from the Internet and the media to our finances and work. If there are drastic climatic changes than it is likely that there could be extended periods of powerlessness - impacting the availablity of fresh food, among other things. Proximity of naturally occuring resources then become highly valuable, since it means security. Habitation, due to modern technology, does not always require proximity of natural resources - but this could change. Imagine California becoming populated only in the areas where there is enough water - where people once were settled densely, but no more (by the Carmel or Salinas Rivers for example). The sprawl has moved out into areas that were sparsely settled in the past. If something happens to the artifical water supply, these natural areas would quickly become overtaxed and one thinks, become a source of contention between groups of people. This is a situation not unlike places like Mesa Verde, where invading groups would attempt to seize the uninterruptible water supply enjoyed by the cliff dwellers.