On Friday, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release a major portion of its latest tome updating the science of global climate change. The report, the group’s fifth since it was created in 1988, is expected to contain few surprises. And it’s that lack of surprises and new findings that may mark the end of business as usual for the Nobel Peace Prize-winning panel, which has been instrumental in raising the profile of the climate issue to the top of the international agenda.
The Fifth Assessment Report is expected to state with even higher confidence — 95 percent — that most of the global warming observed since 1950 has largely been caused by manmade emissions of greenhouse gases. It is also expected to contain updated estimates of projected sea level rise during this century, along with slightly revised temperature projections.
…William Moomaw, a chemist and professor of international environmental policy at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, said the IPCC contributed a great deal to international climate policy in its early days. The first IPCC assessment report, released in 1990, was instrumental in galvanizing diplomats to create the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which the U.S. under President George H.W. Bush signed on to.
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