Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Terminology Tuesday: Likely, Very Likely

"Likely and "very likely" are estimates used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to indicate the likelihood of an occurrence in the context of global warming.

"Likely" indicates at least a 66 percent probability of occurrence and "very likely" means more than a 90 percent probability of occurrence.

For example, from the IPCC:
Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.12 This is an advance since the TAR’s conclusion that 'most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.' [emphases mine]
Read more about probability terminology as it relates to global warming at the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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