Report of the French Academy of Sciences on Global Warming
On Oct 28, 2010, the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Valérie Pécresse, released a report she commissioned from the French Academy of Sciences after the debate held on September 20.
The report is a summary of the presentations given and discussions held during the debate, with written contributions that preceded it.
The debate focused on four major topics:
Observations and analysis methods used to assess climate change
Determination of past climates
The following conclusions are presented in the report:
Several independent indicators show an increase of warming from 1975 to 2003.
This increase is mainly due to the increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere
The increase in CO2 and, to a lesser degree, of other greenhouse gases, is unequivocally due to human activity.
It constitutes a threat to the climate and, moreover, to oceans as a result of the acidification process it generates.
This increase drives retroactions of the global climate system, the complexity of which requires the use of models and tests for the purpose of validating them.
The mechanisms which can play a role in the transmission and amplification of solar forcing, and in particular, of solar activity, are not yet well understood. Solar activity, which has slightly decreased on average since 1975, cannot be dominant in the observed warming during this period
Important uncertainties remain in the modeling of clouds, the evolution of marine ice and polar ice caps, ocean/atmosphere coupling, the evolution of the biosphere and the dynamics of the carbon cycle
The projections of climate change over the 30 to 50-year period are only slightly affected by the uncertainty in the modeling of slow-moving processes. These projections are particularly useful in meeting current societal concerns, made worse by the predictable population increase.
Climate change can only by analyzed by long series of data, both homogeneous and continuous, on a large scale. The major terrestrial and spatial observation programs, must be maintained and developed and their results made available to the international scientific community.
The interdisciplinary nature of the problems requires an even greater involvement of the various scientific communities to further the advances already achieved in the field of climatology and to open new avenues for future research
The report is available in French here : http://media.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/file/2010/35/0/Changement_climatique_octobre_2010_159350.pdf