By just about any measure, global warming is matching or exceeding experts' worst projections, and could bring drastic change to our planet, including a 19-foot sea level rise and the extinction of many species, according to a new report released today.
The study was published by 26 climate scientists, the majority of whom were authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in 2007.
The researchers point to a gloomy slate of evidence: Carbon dioxide emissions are 40 percent higher than in 1990. Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are melting at an accelerated pace. Sea level crept 80 percent higher over the last 15 years than projected in 2001. It is on track to rise twice as much by 2100 as the IPCC projected in 2007.
Arctic sea ice melted 40 percent more than the average prediction in the IPCC report.
"This stunned the scientific community because it was far greater than any projection," said climate scientist and study co-author Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in Canada's British Columbia.