Climate scientists announced Friday that they now believe it is “extremely likely” that warming of the Earth’s climate is caused by humans, marking a rise in confidence from “very likely” in 2007.
What do these terms actually mean?
The authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report use terms that range from “extremely unlikely” to “virtually certain” as a way of qualifying in words how confident they are in their findings.
There is a percentage range attached to each of those terms.
Since 2001, the IPCC has continuously raised its level of confidence that climate change is man-made to 95 per cent this year, from 90 per cent in 2007 and 66 per cent in 2001.
The IPCC’s likelihood scale:
Virtually certain: 99 to 100 per cent probability
Extremely likely: Over 95 per cent. According to the IPCC, it is now “extremely likely” that human activity is to blame for climate change
Very likely: Above 90 per cent
Likely: Above 66 per cent
More likely than not: 50 per cent and above
About as likely as not: Between 33 and 66 per cent