“Well According to Phil…oh and the IPCC”

Yesterday was a big day in the global warming news cycle.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report saying it is “very likely” (at least a 90 percent chance) that human activities are causing the warming of the planet that has occurred since 1950.

The report honed sea level rise projections and clarified the link between global warming and droughts, storms and other extreme climate events–making it even clearer that time is running out for wildlife, whose habitat will suffer from many of these changes and challenges. See “Polar Bears at Risk from Global Warming.”

The Friday news cycle also included the furry forecaster Punxsutawney Phil, announcing the coming of an early spring. NWF senior scientist Doug Inkley recently pondered Phil’s forecasting track record. Apparently in the first 75 years of the 20th century, Phil cast no shadow only four times, which according to folklore meant an early end to winter. But in just the last 25 years of the century, Phil cast no shadow fully eight times, alerting us that winter was coming to an early end.

Make that nine times.

“…with this year’s warm winter, which some experts pin on global warming, biologists say groundhogs and their hibernating brethren might rise closer and closer to Groundhog Day each year as Earth’s climate changes,” (Sara Goudarzi, LiveScience, 02/01/07).

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Published: February 3, 2007