Risks of Taking Climate Change Uncertainties Too Seriously

Climate change organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have presented evidence on how climate change will be affecting the human race negatively over the following decades. Due to an increase in population and human activity, scientists have become concerned with how much more the planet can take before parts of the planet become uninhabitable and human security is placed at risk. The only problem is that major, visible, changes have already began to take place. Due to higher global temperatures, ice caps in the North Pole have been melting at a very fast rate, which has led to flooding in many islands and cities, extreme weather events, and so on. Over the past decades scientists have put together models and graphs to show what has happened over the past centuries, and what can happen if nothing is done about the current climate situations.
The IPCC, which is composed of some of the best scientists in the world, releases a new report on the latest climate findings every five to seven years. The IPCC puts together their latest findings and presents it to political leaders around the world in order that they can influence policymakers to promote sustainability and take action to inform people on climate change. At this point, the IPCC has released five reports and each time they are able to expand on their previous findings, but if the governments know for sure that climate change is real and refused to do anything about it, it is frustrating for scientists to work so hard to prove something that is being taken as a joke by certain leaders.
At this point in time, the question is not whether climate change is real or not, it is what are nations willing to do to make sure that the global temperature does not continue to rise at the rate that it is rising. A lot of climate change deniers will point to the global cooling period that was influenced by natural weather event La Niña in 2008. Factors such as El Niño and La Niña occur naturally and make the temperatures higher or lower. Naturally, the earth does go through a natural warming and cooling cycle, but the cycle has left its path and increased sharply.

Graphs shows evidence of temperature drop over past few years.

Even if there is a lot of uncertainty about future climate, it does not mean that there is not enough evidence to conclude that climate change is real and it poses a threat to human security. In simple terms, the climate is changing due to mainly human activity. The temperatures are rising, the ice caps are melting, the ocean level is rising, coral briefs are disappearing, natural weather events are becoming more extreme, lands are becoming flooded, and so on. In addition, scientists are trying to explain that putting carbon into the atmosphere is not main problem, it is the rate at which Green House Gas emissions are occurring that will be a huge problem if nothing is done to slow down.
Although climate change models are not 100% correct, when it comes to the predictions, they are useful to show what can happen in the future due to past events and information. Just because one cannot prove exactly what will happen, it does not mean it will not happen. Models are used to present information. Scientists all around the world make them and many of them use data from different places and at different times. The overall trend that the models show is that the temperatures have risen over the past century at a prodigious rate.

“Hockey Stick” graph shows the sharp rise in temperature over the past century.

The importance of models is that they can show the opposite. Models and graphs present data of information that has been attained over thousands of years. The famous “hockey stick” graph published in 1998 by scientist Michael Mann and his colleagues showed the abnormal rise in temperature over the 21st century. Due to this graph, people that did not believe in climate change ridiculed him. However, the IPCC presented evidence from this graph in the 2001 report. Such models can be used to present valuable information, but unless world leaders decide to take action to combat climate change, and stop denying it, the earth will continue to get warmer. One cannot continue to say that the graphs are just predictions because they use real evidence.


“The IPCC: Who Are They and Why Do Their Climate Reports Matter?” Union of Concerned Scientists. Accessed September 22, 2017. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/ipcc-backgrounder.html#.WcaDKZOGOFg.

“IPCC AR5 Working Group I Highlights.” IPCC AR5 Working Group I Highlights | Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Accessed September 22, 2017. https://www.c2es.org/science-impacts/ipcc-summaries/fifth-assessment-report-working-group-1.

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