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Scientists warn of climate change severity

Climate experts met in Copenhagen this month for the International Scientific Conference on Climate Change.  The delegates, which represented 80 nations, included climatologists, social scientists and economists.  Their aim was to provide an update on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2007 assessment on global warming.The findings of the summit will be published in June in a 30-page document.  The document could prove bleak reading in places.  Some impacts of climate change - including sea level rise and the loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic "“ may occur sooner and more severely than was thought even just two years ago. It is hoped that the findings from this summit may influence policymakers when they meet in December to discuss a potential successor to the Kyoto Protocol.  However, delegates are worried that the message simply isn't getting through:"I'm frustrated"¦ that 30 years after the US National Academies of Science issued a strong warning on CO2 warming, the full urgency of this problem hasn't dawned on politicians and the general public," says Stefan Rahmstorf, head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.
Laura Bailey


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