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UN panel projects grim global future because of climate change
18 November 2007
As concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere accelerate ahead of scientists' projections, global warming is unequivocally under way, with potentially "abrupt or irreversible" effects looming, a Nobel-Prize winning UN panel on climate change reported Saturday.
The document, a synopsis of three climate reports released earlier this year by the thousands of scientists who make up the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is intended as a succinct policy guide on the risks of climate change and the possible means to mitigate or adapt to it.
Policymakers, set to meet in December in Bali, Indonesia, are expected to use the report as their baseline to begin the tortuous process of trying to replace the expiring and largely ineffective Kyoto Protocol on limiting greenhouse gas emissions with a new and more effective world plan to slow climate change.
"We cannot afford to leave Bali without such a breakthrough," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said after the report's release Saturday in Valencia, Spain. The potential consequences of quickening climate change are "so severe and so sweeping that only urgent global action will do," he said. He called the problem "the defining challenge of our age."
Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the climate panel, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore earlier this year, urged "a new ethic by which every human being realizes the importance of the challenge we are facing and starts to take action through changes in lifestyle and attitude."
Source: Chicago Tribune as reported by Planet2025 News Network