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A look at the climate change report's main findings

Source:  Copyright 2007, Associated Press
Date:  February 2, 2007
Original URL: Status DEAD


A brief look at main findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report:

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THE CAUSE: Global warming is "very likely" caused by man — the strongest conclusion to date. Concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the planet's atmosphere "have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750," mainly from the use of fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal, and because of agriculture.

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THE OUTLOOK: Now that the world has begun to warm, hotter temperatures and rises in sea level "would continue for centuries" no matter how much humans control their pollution. It is "very likely" that heat waves, hot weather, and heavy rainfalls "will continue to become more frequent." Toward the end of this century, sea ice in the Arctic may disappear "almost entirely" in summer.

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TEMPERATURE CHANGE: Predicted temperature rises of 1.1 to 6.4 C (2-11.5 F) by the year 2100. That is a wider range than in a 2001 report. The panel said its best estimate was for temperature rises of 1.8 to 4 C (3.2-7.1 F). Scientists said they are more sure of temperature increases than ever before and the difference between the previous report and now should not be interpreted that global warming will be less of a problem than thought in 2001.

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SEA LEVELS: Projects rises of 7-23 inches (18-58 centimeters) by the end of the century. An additional 3.9-7.8 inches (10-20 centimeters) are possible if recent, surprising melting of polar ice sheets continues.

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HURRICANES: An increase in hurricane and tropical cyclone strength since 1970 "more likely than not" can be attributed to man-made global warming. Scientists said global warming's connection varies with storms in different parts of the world, but that the storms that strike the Americas are global warming-influenced.

Man-made factors have "likely" contributed to changes in wind patterns. It also is "likely" that typhoons and hurricanes will become more intense, with stronger winds and heavier rains.

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