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15 Oct 2009: Update of IPCC Report
Says Pace of Warming Is Rapidly Increasing

A review of 400 major climate studies published since the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that the world is warming more rapidly than the panel’s mainstream projections and concludes that the rapid buildup of greenhouse gases “has most likely committed the world to a warming of 1.4 to 4.3 degrees C” — 2.5 to 7.7 degrees F — by 2100. The updated report, compiled by the United Nations Environmental Program, said events that the IPCC forecast would occur long-term are already occurring or on the verge of occurring. These include rapid acidification of the oceans, faster-than-expected melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, rising sea levels, shifting ocean and atmospheric currents, and warming polar land masses. “This compendium reminds us that the risks we face may be much greater than what’s generally represented in IPCC assessments,” said Ken Caldeira of Stanford University, one of roughly 60 scientific reviewers of the report. The report said that burgeoning economies in China, India, and other developing countries, coupled with a lack of emissions cutbacks in the industrialized world, have caused greenhouse gas emissions to grow more rapidly than the most extreme scenario presented by the IPCC.


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