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Asunto:[LEA] Draft Report Shows World Getting Even Warmer (by Reuters)
Fecha:Jueves, 26 de Octubre, 2000  19:10:17 (-0400)
Autor:Jorge Hinestroza <Jorge_Hinestroza @.....net>


By Reuters

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2000

Draft Report Shows World Getting Even Warmer

                             WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Greenhouse gases are
making the
                             world even warmer than anybody had
predicted, and it is almost
                             certainly the fault of humans, a draft
report from an
                             international climate group concludes.

                             The report, from the United
Nations-sponsored
                             Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), predicts that
                             the average global temperature could be as
much as 11 degrees F
                             (6 degrees C) higher at the end of the
century than it was in
                             1990.

                             That is a bigger change than what the world
has seen since
                             the end of the last Ice Age and could lead
to chaotic weather,
                             with storms, flooding and severe droughts.

                             Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are
produced by
                             using fossil fuels such as gasoline and
coal, burning forests
                             and other activities.

                             The report is the strongest word yet from
the IPCC, which
                             groups 2,500 of the world's top climate
scientists. Their last
                             report in 1995 said there was a
"discernible human influence'

                             on climate.

                             The new draft strengthens the language,
saying "there is
                             now stronger evidence for a human
influence" and revises
                             upwards the estimates on how warm the Earth
is going to get.

                             "In 1995, we said since 1860 there had been
a 0.3 to 0.6
                             degree C rise," one source familiar with
the report, who asked
                             not to be named, said.

                             "Now it is 0.4 to 0.8 degrees C (0.7 to 1.4
degrees F). The
                             observed change is somewhat larger."

                             This is the same as given in a major report
issued in
                             January by the U.S. National Academy of
Science's National
                             Research Council (NRC).

                             "That's largely because the last few years
have been very
                             warm. As the report itself says, the last
decade was certainly
                             the warmest in 1,000 years," the source
said.

                             In 1995, the IPCC projected a 1.0 to 3.5 C
increase in
                             average global temperature between 1990 to
2100. The new draft
                             predicts a rise of from anywhere between
1.5 and 6 C.

                             Robert Watson, the Washington, D.C.-based
chairman of the
                             IPCC, said the report, leaked to several
news organizations,
                             was only a draft and was subject to change.

                             "This is the summary of a report prepared
by hundreds of
                             scientists throughout the world," Watson
said in a telephone
                             interview.

                             "It is indeed still a draft document
subject to change
                             after government review."

                             REPORT TO BE APPROVED IN JANUARY
                                         He said the report, which is
several hundred pages long,
                             had been prepared by "hundreds of
scientists" and reviewed
                             twice, by climate experts and by
governments.

                             "It has been revised, and has now been
released to
                             governments for their final review," Watson
said.

                             He suggested it would be subject to close
scrutiny and
                             considerable discussion.

                             "There will be a meeting of all the
governments of the
                             world, plus some of the scientists that
prepared the reports,
                             in China in the middle of January for final
review and
                             approval. It will literally be a
word-by-word approval."

                             Since the last IPCC report was issued in
1995, many studies
                             have shown that global warming is even more
serious than had
                             been believed, and many showed definitive
links with
                             human-produced chemicals such as carbon
dioxide.

                             Several reports have concluded that global
temperature took
                             a sudden upward turn at around the turn of
the last century,
                             when the Industrial Revolution reached its
peak and people
                             started pumping greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere.

                             The January NRC report estimated that in
the last 20 years,
                             the earth's surface temperature rose by
0.25 to 0.4 C (0.5 to
                             0.7 F).

                             While the numbers seem small, they refer to
average global
                             temperatures. Actual variations will be
much more extreme
                             locally, and scientists say higher
temperatures have already
                             started to cause strong hurricanes, severe
floods and
                             devastating droughts.

                             Ice shelves in the Antarctic have started
to break off and,
                             if the trend continues, many low-lying
coastal areas could be
                             flooded.

                             A report by the U.S. National Oceanic and
Atmospheric
                             Administration (NOAA) that found the cycles
of the Pacific El
                             Nino current, blamed for disrupting weather
worldwide, have
                             become more frequent and progressively
warmer -- just as global
                             temperatures have risen overall on average.

                             Small and subtle changes in the sun's
radiation may also
                             contribute, scientists say.




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