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Global warming real, humans "extremely likely" responsible

Human activity is unequivocally responsible for all global warming that has been observed since 1951, a new report by a U.N. sponsored scientific group said Friday.

The finding is all the more striking since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is known for its conservative estimates.

Every five to six years, the Nobel-Prize winning Panel releases a report summarizing the current state of scientific knowledge on climate change. Last week, it released an initial summary of its fifth report, which is based on a review of 9000 recent scientific articles by more than 2500 scientists. 

According to this summary:

  • climate change is already happening
  • humans are largely responsible for climate change
  • if nothing is done, the pace of climate change will only speed up

But:

  • it is possible to limit the damage by reducing emissions

Other notable findings:

  • Ice sheets are melting faster now than they were in the 1990s.
  • Glaciers are also melting faster.
  • Arctic sea ice is retreating faster than had been estimated in the previous report.
  • Sea levels rose almost two times as fast between 1993 and 2010 as compared with the period between 1901 and 2010.

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