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Scientists’ Urgent Climate Warning Underscores Need for Swift Action

by: NRDC    2 February 2007

Disturbing New IPCC Consensus Puts Pressure on Lawmakers, Industry

WASHINGTON (February 2, 2007) - The most definitive climate science report to date was released today in Paris, underscoring the urgency to act here in Washington, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The consensus report amplifies warnings that have been coming for some time, and suggests costly and difficult problems if steps are not taken soon to prevent them.

The Fourth Assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reflects the consensus views of hundreds of the world's preeminent climate scientists who rigorously reviewed and synthesized vast amounts of the latest research to produce this initial summary report. The report notes, among other findings, that:

Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to increases in heat-trapping pollution in the atmosphere.

Without action to curb global warming pollution it is very likely that heat waves and heavy precipitation events will continue to become more frequent and hurricanes are likely to become more intense.

The exhaustive review process used by the IPCC ensures that the report released today is authoritative and cautious. Only research published in the scientific literature by the end of 2005 was fully considered.

"This new IPCC report makes it clear that global warming is here now, and we must take swift and effective action to stave off the most severe consequences," said Dr. Dan Lashof, science director at NRDC's Climate Center. "At this point, some warming is unavoidable, but there is a world of difference between 1 degree and 7 degrees. The good news is that the political climate in Washington is changing as well. Congress needs to enact comprehensive emission limits that will steadily reduce global warming pollution. We have an opportunity to fix this problem, but only if we act before it's too late."

For more on the report, visit The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change