Global warming is happening at nearly twice the rate predicted just six years ago
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Download Report Summaries from IPCC
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Global
warming is happening at nearly twice
the rate predicted just six years ago,
a U.N. report says.
It warns that the planet is warming up
faster than at any time in the last 1,000
years and says the Earth is threatened
The report blames human activity for
the rising global temperatures that will
bring increases in flooding and droughts
that could blight the 21st Century.
The most up-to-date research and
forecasts contained within the report
predict that global mean temperatures
could increase by as m uch as 5.8C by
the year 2100.
The key 2,600-page report is published
by the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) on the eve of a
150-nation summit being held in
In it, hundreds of the world's leading scientists back the view that global
warming is a reality and that man-made gasses are largely responsible.
It is expected to put further pressure on
President George W. Bush to commit the U.S. to
the Kyoto treaty on the reduction of
The IPCC was set up jointly by the United
Nations Environment Programme and the World
Meteorological Organisation to provide scientific
consensus on climate change.
The scientists' report said: "The increase in
global temperatures projected by the scientific
data on climate trends could bring about
significant changes to the world we know
It warns of "increased flooding, landslide and
storm damage, increased deaths from heat
stroke, failures of traditional agricultural systems
through droughts and a consequent failure of
traditional financial services to insure against
It added: "These are all scenarios which could be
played out in different parts of the world during
the 21st Century."
Poorer countries will be the most vulnerable to
the effect of climate change, according to the
The report said: "The ability of human systems
to adapt to climatic changes depends on factors
such as wealth, technology, education,
infrastructure and access to resources.
"The world's poorest societies depend more heavily on their water and
agriculture, the very systems most at risk from the effects of climate change."
It added: "Many plants and animals, and many ways of human life, however,
will disappear forever over the next century as a direct result of climate change
caused by human activity."
In outlining possible scenarios for the future, the authors stressed that the most
positive effects were seen where effort was made to stabilise carbon
concentrations in the atmosphere at certain given levels.
The report said: "It is possible to say, however, that certain emissions controls
can be achieved without net social cost, and that climate control policies can
have other ancillary benefits such as reductions in pollution."
Kate Hampton, Friends of the Earth International's climate co-ordinator, said:
"This alarming report should be a wake-up call to those nations that are failing
to take this issue seriously.
"Urgent action is needed to avoid global catastrophe. Next week, the world's
politicians have the chance to act by agreeing on rules to implement the Kyoto
She added: "There is still time to act, but only if countries like the United States,
the world's biggest polluter, bite the bullet."
Download Report Summaries from IPCC
<-- Return To Climate Shift
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