While Congress debates whether Earth is warming and if humans caused it, most climate scientists are far past that, and instead are focused on how fast and how badly climate change will evolve, reports Katherine Bagley at InsideClimate News. And this isn’t a rash conclusion for scientists, who are inherently skeptical, notes climatologist Lonnie Thompson, adding that enough evidence now convinces most scientists. “There is not any serious debate about whether anthropogenic climate change is happening,” says Daniel Sarewitz, co-director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University and a professor of science and society. “Scientists are certain about that, and it is unfortunate that the national debate is lagging so far behind.” The Congressional discussion misses a crucial flaw in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, which take several years to produce, making them outdated practically upon release, noted Thompson, an IPCC author. In this case, the crucial flaw is the assumption that nations would take significant steps to curb carbon emissions. They have not, so the latest reports gravely underestimate the immediacy and danger of global warming.
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120604/climate-change-scientists-global-warming-ipcc-report-scientific-consensus-skeptics-humans-ice-sheets-melting : Climate Scientists Lament a Nation Stuck on the Wrong Debate While the national climate debate is fixed on whether Earth is warming, climate scientists are focused on understanding how bad it will be. By Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News