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More Melting in the Northwest

by Joe Michaels

kgw.com

Posted on November 6, 2007 at 4:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:39 PM

My story today – about climate change and Mt. Hood’s glaciers – is a story that needs to be told. Mt Hood's shrinking glaciers are just a symptom of a much larger problem.

For more than two decades the debate over climate change and global warming has raged. Is global warming happening? If it is happening, are people to blame? Questions like these have swirled about the scientific community for years, often with murky or inconclusive answers. Over the past couple of years, those answers have become much more clear.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established by the United Nations back in 1988, has become the authoritative source on information about climate change. And their most recent report – issued earlier this year – was the most conclusive one yet. It stated that warming of the climate system is unequivocal. In other words, the planet is warming up, and there is no longer any doubt about it. Even the cause of that warming has become clearer. According to the IPCC, there is greater than a 90% chance that this warming is because of people, and the amount of carbon dioxide that we have released into our atmosphere.

So what to do about it? Aggressive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are necessary to try to reverse climate change. And even though many countries are tenaciously working to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, it will still take time to reverse the climate change trend. More than likely, temperatures worldwide will continue to warm throughout all of our lifetimes. It’s simply a matter of how warm temperatures will get. But by reducing our emissions, we’ll lessen the impacts from climate change and global warming.

If you have any questions about climate change, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. You can also click here to visit The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s website.

Joe Michaels

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