Oceans Will Keep Rising For 1,000 Years (And That’s the Good Scenario)

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


“250+ scientific experts; 800+ contributing authors; 450+ lead authors; 130 countries; 6 years; 4 volumes; 1 report.”

That’s how the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is pimping the release of “Climate Change 2007,” the fourth assessment report from the most authoritative climate change group. All this week, 500 scientists have been working in Paris, making the final edits to the report being released today. You can click here to find the report itself, but it seems that most of the key findings have leaked out.

Highlights, if they can be called that, include the finding that an increase in hurricane and tropical cyclone strength since 1970 “more likely than not” can be attributed to man-made global warming. The panel’s last report, in 2001, said that there was not enough evidence then to support that claim.

According to Reuters, “It is very likely that (human) greenhouse gases caused most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century,” according to a final draft. “Very likely” means a probability of at least 90 percent — up from a judgment of “likely”, or a 66 percent probability, in the previous 2001 report. The Paris study, looking at the science of global warming, will also project a “best estimate” that temperatures will rise by 3 Celsius (5.4 Fahrenheit) by 2100 over pre-industrial levels, the biggest change in a century for thousands of years.”

And the millenium of seas rising? That’s assuming we can stabilize greenhouse gas emissions this century, which based on the level of obfuscation and inactivity of the world’s leading greenhouse gas belcher, is no sure thing.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate