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International science panel 95% sure global warming is humans' fault, urges 'substantial and sustained' greenhouse gas reduction


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Global warming is almost certainly the fault of human beings, a new report by the United Nations climate panel states. It offers 95 percent certainty of that assertion, based on "some 2,500 pages of text and...millions of observations and over 2 million gigabytes of numerical data from climate model simulations," and it cites over 9,200 scientific papers (75 percent of which are from the last three years). The report also suggests "substantial and sustained" efforts to reduce greenhouse gas production; greenhouse gases (everything from water vapor to nitrous oxide) are the primary cause of the greenhouse effect, which destroys the Earth's protective ozone layer.

Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are the main culprits causing the Earth's ozone to deteriorate. CO2 levels have risen by 40 percent "since pre-industrial times," much of which was absorbed by the Earth's oceans (about 30 percent), resulting in rising acidity levels. Moreover, due to that absorption, the oceans -- specifically the upper ocean (0 to 700 meters) -- have been warming since the 1870s.

As one might expect, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the UN's climate change panel) suggests a greener lifestyle worldwide to help roll back the compound effects of global warming. A Tesla for each of us, perhaps? But even if we all go super green and massively cut back on greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, it sounds like humanity won't see the positive for quite some time. "As a result of our past, present and expected future emissions of CO2, we are committed to climate change, and effects will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 stop," co-chair Thomas Stocker says.

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