Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:26 AM
Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle
5:17 a.m. CST, November 29, 2012
DOHA (Reuters) - Evidence that global warming is man-made is getting stronger, the head of a U.N. panel of climate scientists said, in a further blow to skeptics who argue rising temperatures can be explained by natural variations.
The influential U.N. climate panel said the probability human activity was the main cause of climate change was "at least 90 percent" in its last report in 2007.
"We certainly have a substantial amount of information available by which I hope we can narrow the gaps, increase the level of certainty of our findings," he said.
"We will have a lot more information this time around on the melting of Greenland and Antarctica. I hope we will get a little more information on sea level rise," he added.
Rising sea levels pose a particular threat to people living in low-lying areas, from Bangladesh to the cities of New York, London and Buenos Aires. They open up the risk of storm surges, coastal erosion and, in the worst case scenario, complete swamping of large areas of land.
The last report by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave a wide range for sea levels, saying they could rise by between 18 and 59 cm (7-24 inches) by 2100.
Those numbers did not take account of a possible acceleration of a melt of Antarctic or Greenland ice, due to big uncertainties.
Americans are absolutely asleep on this issue. The full effects of climate change will be on us within a couple more years. I do not understand Obama's silence on this issue. Why isn't he making it a priority and preparing the country for it?