|UN panel flags more climate dangers
The UN's climate panel warned that evidence was mounting each year of changes to Earth's weather system as it began talks on a new global warming report.
The world's paramount authority on the greenhouse effect, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will on Friday release the first volume of a report on climate change, its impacts and ways to cope with the challenge.
The IPCC, co-winner of Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, gathers specialists in physical science, agronomics, biology, economies and sociology, AFP reports.
“The scientific evidence of... climate change has strengthened year after year, leaving few uncertainties apart from the serious consequences,'' the panel's chairman Rajendra Pachauri said.
The panel report is expected to paint a bleak picture of climate change in the coming decades.
The worst-case scenario, based on relentless emissions of heat-trapping fossil-fuel gases, predicts warming of more than triple the target set by vulnerable small-island states.
“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time,'' said Thomas Stocker, co-chairman of the working group that has written the volume.
“Because this change threatens our primary resources, land and water – in short, because it threatens our only home – we must face this challenge.''
He said the report was based on millions of measurements in the atmosphere, in the ocean, on land, in ice, and from space.
A draft document seen by AFP strengthens the IPCC's conviction in 2007 – from 90 to 95 percent – that humans are to blame for climate change.
The draft attributes an observed slowing in warming from 1998 to 2012 –- a phenomenon cited by skeptics as evidence that warming is not man-made – to a temporary cooling cycle in the weather system and lower-than-expected solar activity.
Greenpeace climate change campaigner Stephanie Tunmore blamed lobbying by the energy sector for preventing tougher action against carbon emissions.
“It's like being in a car hurtling in the wrong direction with governments arguing about the seating arrangements and the fossil-fuel industry jamming the throttle open,'' she said.