The IPCC report summarized for non-specialists

The IPCC is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC was established in 1988 by the WMO and the UNEP. The role of the IPCC is " to assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change ". IPCCreports are available on the web. More...

GreenFacts has published a summary of the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC, a leading scientific consensus document on Climate Change and Global Warming produced in 2001 by a large international panel of scientists. It is written in a language for non-specialists and presented in GreenFacts' 3 levels structure of increasing detail.More...

Read the GreenFacts Digest on the global climate change

What causes this global climate change?

Global climate change has and will always vary for natural reasons. However, human activities are increasing significantly the concentrations of some gases in the atmosphere, such as greenhouse gases (mainly CO2), which tend to warm the earth surface, and anthropogenic aerosols, which mostly tend to cool it.

Although more research is needed, understanding of global climate change processes and computer models have improved, leading the IPCC to draw the following conclusion:

Most of the global climate change over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to man-made activities.More...

Read the GreenFacts Digest on the global climate change

What global climate changes are expected for the future?

To predict the future global climate change, several greenhouse gas emission scenarios were developed and fed into computer models.

They project for the next century that, without specific policy changes:

  • global mean temperature should increase by between 1.4 and 5.8°C (2.5 to 10°F).
  • the Northern Hemisphere cover should decrease further, but the Antarctic ice sheet should increase.
  • the sea level should rise by between 9 and 88 cm (3.5" to 35").
  • other changes should occur, including an increase in some extreme weather events.

After 2100, human induced global climate change is projected to persist for many centuries. The sea level should continue rising for thousands of years after the climate has been stabilized. More...

Read the GreenFacts Digest on the global climate change