Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


Climate Change Report Points Finger At Humans

Feb 3 2007 (TODAY)

PARIS - Global warming is "very likely" caused by humans, and temperatures
and sea-levels will increase by the end of the century, the United Nations
said in its most comprehensive report yet on climate change.

Global temperatures are likely to rise by 1.1°C to 6.4°C by the end of
this century relative to the last, with a probable 2°C to 4.5°C range if
carbondioxide doubles from pre-industrial levels, the UN's
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said. Sea-level gain over
the same period may range from 18cm to 59cm, it added.

The report, released in Paris, puts the probability of the link between
human activity and global warming at more than 90 per cent, compared with
the 66 to 90 per cent likelihood signaled in the panel's 2001 report.

"This report puts a full stop behind the questioning of the science
underlying the issue of whether humans are causing global warming," said
Mr Achim Steiner, director of the UN Environment Program.

"This is critical because it allows us to now shift the attention to what
kind of policy responses and international initiatives we need to achieve
emissions reductions."

The panel released part one of a four-volume survey, which was reviewed by
more than 2,500 scientists from 130 countries. Discussions on the final
wording continued through the night as scientists and political
negotiators sought consensus on the report entitled Climate Change 2007:
the Physical Science Basis.

Overall, the IPCC is signaling "more urgency" on sea-level changes,
melting glaciers ice caps and sea ice, said one of the report's editors,
Mr Roger Barry - director of the United States National Snow and Ice Data

Scientists say carbondioxide and other gases produced by burning fossil
fuels caused Earth to heat up when they linger in the atmosphere, trapping
energy from the sun that would otherwise reflect back into space.

Many industrialised nations have already begun taking action by setting
caps on emissions. Under the UN's Kyoto Protocol treaty, 35 countries and
the European Union agreed to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by a
combined 5 per cent from 1990 levels by the 2008 to 2012 period.

The US and Australia have not ratified the treaty, while developing
nations such as India and China have not been subjected to emissions
reductions. - Bloomberg