In 2007, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that got the whole world talking. It also moved some to action. Yet despite that, the US federal government failed to act.
This week, the IPCC released a new report. And this one is even more alarming than the last.
The report emphasizes that the basic facts about future climate change are more established than ever, justifying the rise in global concern. It also reiterates that the consequences of escalating emissions are likely to be profound.
“It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010,” the draft report says. “There is high confidence that this has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level and changed some climate extremes in the second half of the 20th century.”
Yes, it's this serious. And yes, climate change will be even more dangerous if we try to ignore it.
What (else) will it take to get us to act? What else will we have to endure? How many more people must suffer? Can we save ourselves before we get burned?