Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

All Eyes On Scientists As Climate Summit Opens

This picture taken 29 January 2007, shows three huge protest banners hanged by Greenpeace activists on the Eiffel tower in Paris, about the threat of global warming as the world's top climate scientists gathered nearby to issue a key report. The slogan "It's not too late", is an appeal to policy makers and governments to take action on climate change. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release Friday 2nd February, its first report since 2001, amid mounting global concern about changes in the Earth's temperature. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Richard Ingham
Paris (AFP) Jan 29, 2007
With a mountain of data in front of them and demands for action coming from behind, the world's top climate experts launched a massive review here Monday of the evidence for global warming. On Friday, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its first assessment since 2001, in a document likely to have far-reaching political and economic repercussions.

"Concerns about climate change and public awareness of the subject are at an all-time high," noted Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC's chairman.

"At no time in the past has there been a greater global appetite for knowledge on any subject than there is today on the scientific facts underlying the reality of global climate change."

Christian Brodhag, representing the French hosts, said "the fight against climate change" had become cemented into national and European policy.

Brodhag said that the 2003 heatwave in France, which killed an estimated 15,000 people, mainly the elderly, had awoken his country to the danger. "This is why our fellow citizens no longer question climate change."

But one delegate told AFP that many at the conference feared the draft report poorly reflected a sense of urgency, especially about mounting damage to Earth's ice cover and polar caps.

New figures released Monday showed that 30 reference glaciers monitored by the Swiss-based World Glacier Monitoring Service lost about 66 centimetres (two feet) in thickness on average in 2005, bringing the loss to about 10.5 metres (34.6 feet) on average since 1980.

"The new data confirms the trend in accelerated loss during the past two and half decades," the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said.

As the scientists met, climbers for the environment group Greenpeace scaled the Eiffel Tower nearby to hang a protest banner of a thermometer, representing the threat of global warming.

The report will be the fourth since the IPCC was launched. The panel is highly regarded for its neutrality and caution, and wields a big influence over government policies, corporate strategies and even individual decision-making.

In 2001, the IPCC declared that carbon pollution from burning oil, gas and coal had helped drive atmospheric levels of CO2 to their highest in 420,000 years.

CO2 is the principal "greenhouse gas," a term that applies to half a dozen gases that linger invisibly in the atmosphere, trapping the Sun's heat instead of letting it bounce back into space.

In 2001, the IPCC predicted that by 2100, the global atmospheric temperature will have risen between 1.4 and 5.8 C (2.52-10.4 F) and sea levels by 0.09 to 0.88 metres (3.5-35 inches) compared to their 1990 level, depending on how much greenhouse gas is emitted.

In Jakarta, Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said climate change was already happening and the developing world was bearing the brunt.

Weather-related disasters killed almost 3,000 people and caused 27 billion dollars in damage in China last year, he said, while the retreat of Himalayan glaciers was affecting water supplies in India and China.

"Over recent years the level of Lake Victoria in Africa has dropped by about 30 percent, affecting the livelihoods of 30 million people in one of the most unstable regions of the world who live around that lake," he said.

"What you see around the world is that the countries least able to respond to the consequences of climate change, least able to act to defend themselves against climate change are experiencing the greatest impacts," de Boer said.

Pachauri said climate science had leapt ahead since 2001, and the report would eliminate some important areas of uncertainty.

A flurry of studies has highlighted damage to the climate system, including shrinking glaciers and snow cover in high mountains, a retreat of the North Pole's sea ice in summer and acidification of the seas caused by absorption of atmospheric CO2.

The draft report is agreed by consensus among the some 500 scientists and government representatives in the IPCC's Working Group 1.

Two other volumes will be issued in April in what will be the fourth assessment report on climate change by the IPCC since it was established in 1988. The two others will focus on the impacts of climate change and on the social-economic costs of reducing greenhouse gases.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Learn about Climate Science at

Melting Glaciers Show Climate Change Speeding Up
Geneva (AFP) Jan 29, 2007
New data released Monday shows that the melting of mountain glaciers worldwide is accelerating, a clear sign that climate change is also picking up, the UN environmental agency and scientists said. Thirty reference glaciers monitored by the Swiss-based World Glacier Monitoring Service lost about 66 centimetres (two feet) in thickness on average in 2005, the UN Environment Programme said in a statement.

  • Repairs To Quake-Hit Asia Internet Cables Delayed Again
  • Europe And Asia Must Up Response To Natural Disasters
  • Munich Re Says Insurers Face Up To 7-Billion-Euro Bill From Winter Storm
  • Rapid Response To Avian Flu Threat

  • Melting Glaciers Show Climate Change Speeding Up
  • All Eyes On Scientists As Climate Summit Opens
  • Climate Scientists Set To Serve Up A Slab Of Bad News
  • Business World Urges Governments To Be Bolder On Climate Change

  • First Thai Observation Satellite To Be Orbited In October
  • Space Technology Can Help Ailing Agri Sector: Kasturirangan
  • Russia's Putin, India Call For 'Weapons Free' Space
  • New Sensor To Be A Boon To Astronomers

  • Heat Mining All The Rage As Next US Energy Source
  • Crude Prices Retreat Amid Rising US Reserves
  • Portugal Wants Renewables To Meet Nearly Half Of Its Electricity Needs
  • Iowa State Corn Soy Plastics To Be Made Into Hog Feeders

  • Study Uncovers A Lethal Secret Of 1918 Influenza Virus
  • Scientists Reveal A Virus' Secret Weapon
  • World's Response To Children With Aids 'Tragically Insufficient'
  • UN Body Says EU Ban On Wild Bird Imports Won't Help Stop Bird Flu

  • Darwin's Bulldog And The Time Machine
  • Does Evolution Select For Faster Evolvers
  • Woman "Saved Husband's Life" In Lion Attack
  • Biologist Clair Ting Explores Photosynthetic Apparatus

  • Kathmandu Today Little More Than A Garbage Dump And Open Sewer
  • Record Fine For China Factory Over Infamous Songhua Spill
  • Flights To Avoid Indonesian Mud Volcano Postponed
  • Lead With A Poisonous Electron Shield

  • Anthropologist Confirms Hobbit A Separate Species
  • Human Circadian Clocks Couple To Local Sun Time
  • Paleontologists Discover Most Primitive Primate Skeleton
  • Unprecedented Screening For Lifespan-Extending Compounds to Get Underway

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement