In February, Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its “Summary for Policy Makers.” The full report on The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change is now available for downloading.
It’s conservative, low-key and understated — and it is one of the most important scientific documents of this decade. February’s Summary for Policy Makers just touched on key points: the full document explains in detail what scientists know for sure about global warming.
Key questions and issues:
- How has the science of climate change advanced since the IPCC began? Chapter 1
- What is known about the natural and anthropogenic agents that contribute to climate change, and the underlying processes that are involved? Chapters 2, 6, 7
- How has climate been observed to change during the period of instrumental measurements? Chapters 3, 4, 5
- What is known of palaeoclimatic changes, before the instrumental era, over time scales of hundreds to millions of years, and the processes that caused them? Chapters 6, 9
- How well do we understand human and natural contributions to recent climate change, and how well can we simulate changes in climate using models? Chapters 8, 9
- How is climate projected to change in the future, globally and regionally? Chapters 10, 11
- What is known about past and projected changes in sea level, including the role of changes in glaciers and ice sheets? Chapters 4, 5, 6, 10
- Are extremes such as heavy precipitation, droughts, and heat waves changing and why, and how are they expected to change in the future? Chapters 3, 5, 9, 10, 11
And there’s much much more. For a good overview, read the 70-page Technical Summary, which is much more complete than the Summary for Policy Makers.
All the chapters are available as PDF files now, HERE. Some front matter, the Index, and some supplementary material, will be posted in the next 10 days.