The report was released in four parts, the first three were work groups the last a synopsis of the three for policymakers. The high points of the synopsis include:
1. Observed changes in climate and its effects (Working Groups 1-2).
2. Causes of change (WGs 1, 3).
3. Climate change and its impacts in the near and long term under different scenarios (WGs 1-3).
4. Adaptation and mitigation options and responses, and the inter-relationship with sustainable development, at global and regional levels (WGs 2-3).
5. The long term perspective: scientific and socio-economic aspects relevant to adaptation and mitigation, consistent with the objectives and provisions of the Convention [sic], and in the context of sustainable development (WGs 1-3).
6. Robust findings, key uncertainties (WGs 1-3).
Though thinning this into a couple points is tough, so here are a few more: Warming of the world’s climate is “unequivocal” — 11 of the past 12 years (1995-2006) rank among the 12 warmest years since 1850; Continued greenhouse-gas emissions at or above current rates would induce climate changes that would be “very likely” (meaning a 90% likelihood) to exceed those observed during the twentieth century; Fossil fuels will dominate the world’s energy portfolio until at least 2030, and emissions look set to rise by 25-90% during that time; and given our current understanding, it is too difficult to estimate the extent of future sea-level rise.
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