As Eric Steig notes, everything in the Copenhagen Diagnosis is from the peer-reviewed literature, so there is nothing really new. Some of the key points summarized in this report are:
– Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass and contributing to sea level rise at an increasing rate, according to satellite and direct measurement data.
– Arctic sea-ice has melted far beyond the expectations derived from climate models. For example, the area of summer sea-ice melt during 2007-2009 was about 40% greater than the average projection from the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
– Sea level has risen more than 5 centimeters over the past 15 years, about 80% higher than IPCC projections from 2001. As mentioned above, accounting for ice-sheets and glaciers, global sea-level rise may exceed 1 meter by 2100, with a rise of up to 2 meters considered an upper limit by this time. This is much higher than previously projected by the IPCC. Furthermore, beyond 2100, sea level rise of several meters must be expected over the next few centuries.
– In 2008, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels were ~40% higher than those in 1990. Even if emissions do not grow beyond today’s levels, within just 20 years the world will have used up the allowable emissions to have a reasonable chance of limiting warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
This spells serious trouble on a number of fronts around the world. For the Southeast, it’s very bad news for some of our treasured places (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy video) such a the Outer Banks, Florida Keys, the Everglades and many of our beautiful beaches.
Check out some news coverage of the report’s release from other sources:
– ABC-Australia interviews one of the report’s authors, Professor Matthew England, in this podcast.
– “The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Sobering Update on the Science,” from Yale Environment 360 (a publication of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies).
– “The Best Reason to Ignore ‘Climategate: The Climate Really is Changing,” from The Washington Independent.
– “Copenhagen Diagnosis’ offers a grim update to the IPCC’s climate science,” from Grist.