The Climate Group outlines key findings from latest IPCC report

5 February 2007

The IPCC Working Group I's Summary for Policymakers, released on February 2nd 2007, is the world's most authoritative survey of the peer-reviewed literature published on the science of climate change, bringing together the results of paleoclimatic measurements, current observations and model projections.

The report - which covers the relationship between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, planetary temperature change and sea-level rise - highlights the growing certainty that it is human activity that is causing climate change, putting to bed any lingering doubts that cyclical changes may be responsible.

The most notable findings include that:

  • It is at least 90% certain that human emissions of greenhouse gases rather than natural variations are responsible for global warming - up from between 66% and 90% certain in 2001;
  • The current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (379ppm in 2005) is far higher than the natural range over the last 650,000 years and is growing faster than at any time before;
  • Average global temperature and sea levels are rising and this rise is accelerating at an unprecedented rate - the impacts of this can be seen in the loss of glaciers, sea ice and permafrost;
  • If GHG concentrations are allowed to reach 550ppm it is likely that the temperature will rise by between 2 and 4.5 degrees with the possibility that it might reach a 6.4 degree increase.
  • This will mean loss of snow cover, heat waves, more frequent flooding and extreme droughts, possibly leading - at the upper end - to runaway global warming.


"The IPCC report illustrates that the challenge is both enormous and more urgent than many previously envisioned," said Dr. Steve Howard, CEO, The Climate Group.

"The silver lining, however, is that innovative and effective solutions are here, if we're courageous enough to embrace them."

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