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World must act "hastily"... looks like a job for carfree cities!

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  • Todd Edelman, Green Idea Factory
    EXPERTS WARN OF ABRUPT WARNING A UN panel has agreed a landmark report on climate change, and says
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 16, 2007
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      <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7098902.stm>

      EXPERTS WARN OF 'ABRUPT' WARNING

      A UN panel has agreed a landmark report on climate change, and says the
      world must act hastily to prevent the worst predicted effects coming to
      pass.* *

      After arduous talks in Valencia, Spain, scientists agreed a document
      they hope will shape debate on the next phase of the fight against
      climate change.

      It declared the fact of global warming "unequivocal", and said it may
      bring "abrupt and irreversible" impacts.

      The text will be officially launched by UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Saturday.

      Delegates to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
      summarised thousands of pages of scientific analysis, bringing together
      elements of the three reports already released this year, on the science
      of climate change, impacts and adaptation, and options for mitigating
      the problem.

      "This is the strongest report yet by the IPCC - but says that there is
      still time to act," Bill Hare, an Australian climate scientist and one
      of the authors, told Reuters.

      Among the report's top-line conclusions are that climate change is
      "unequivocal", that humankind's emissions of greenhouse gases are more
      than 90% likely to be the main cause, and that impacts can be reduced at
      reasonable cost.

      The synthesis summary finalised late on Friday strengthens the language
      of those earlier reports with a warning that climate change may bring
      "abrupt and irreversible" impacts.

      Such impacts could include the fast melting of glaciers and species
      extinctions.

      "Climate change is here, it's impacting our lives and our economies, and
      we need to do something about it," commented Hans Verolme, director of
      the climate change programme with the environmental group WWF.

      "After this report, there are no politicians left who can argue they
      don't know what climate change is or they don't know what to do about it."

      * Local witnesses *

      At a news conference, WWF presented testimonies from "climate change
      witnesses" in various parts of the world.

      Speaking by video link, Australian scientists and fishermen spoke of the
      changes they were seeing on the Great Barrier Reef. And Olav Mathis
      Eira, a Sami reindeer herder from Norway, said that his communities are
      seeing weather patterns unprecedented in their oral history.

      "Winter is one-and-a-half months later than it used to be," he said. "We
      observed birds and insects that do not have a name in Sami."

      The 20-page synthesis summary by the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC will be
      accompanied by a longer, more detailed document.

      The findings will feed into the next round of negotiations on the UN
      climate convention and Kyoto Protocol, which open in Bali on 3 December.

      "The report sends a very strong signal to Bali," said Mr Verolme of the
      WWF. "Now it's up to the politicians."

      --
      --------------------------------------------

      Todd Edelman
      Director
      Green Idea Factory

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