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Brad
03-09-2009, 08:37 AM
There are links to reports and articles about the IPCC report released yesterday on Climate Change and Water. Some of the articles are saying this report proves that Global Warming is caused by humans. Others say this report ends the debate.

I just read the 214 page report (skimmed it actually) and these headlines are not accurate. The IPCC saw they had lots of information on water in their prior reports and wanted to have it pulled together into one place. So, this is a summarization of the potential impact to freshwater resources due to climate change. I saw nothing that said human caused or tied lack of water back to a cause - let alone humans.

There have certainly been a lot of studies on water resources and that is great. Reading the report leaves one mystified as to how to have what appears to be conflicting conclusions. But, they say northern latitudes and the topics will have increased precipitation (bring on the snow for us?) and the models do not agree for other parts of the world. On one page they state the water data is inconsistent, sketchy at best, and of poor quality - but, let me tell you the conclusions. (It might be noted I am not an IPCC advocate)

There is a chapter on "Gaps in Knowledge" which they state to be many. In fact the opening paragraph of this chapter states, "There is abundant evidence from observational records and climate projections that freshwater resources are vulnerable and have the potential to be strongly impacted by climate change. However, the ability to quantify future changes in
hydrological variables, and their impacts on systems and sectors, is limited by uncertainty at all stages of the assessment process."

The reporters seem to be highlighting this IPCC study as being more than it is. In the beginning of the report it is stated that several people have reviewed the report, but it has not been accepted by the IPCC. It will be interesting to see what the scientific community thinks of it.

Full IPCC report is at
http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tp-climate-change-water.htm