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'More bad news' on climate change

'More bad news' on climate change
10.03.2009

They will be trying to pull together the latest research on global warming ahead of political negotiations later in the year.

The scientists are concerned that the 2007 reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are already out of date.

Their data suggests greater rises in sea levels this century.

For the scientists gathering in the Danish capital, this meeting is about removing as much wriggle room as possible from the political negotiations on a new global climate treaty taking place in December.

While the IPCC reports of 2007 were praised for their recognition of the causes of global warming, the slow, consensus-based nature of the process, meant more recent data was not included.

Greater clarity

But with this meeting taking place outside the IPCC, it means it will have the very latest estimates, and the scientists will have no need to agree every word with the political masters.

This unfettered atmosphere is likely to produce greater clarity about the scale of some very worrying trends, especially sea level rise.

The IPCC was widely criticised for stating that sea level rise this century would only amount to 59cm (23in).

The most recent data, to be presented here, will suggest a far higher figure with dramatic implications for many island nations and coastal regions.

The meeting is being organised by the University of Copenhagen. Its prorector Lykke Friis said the scientists would be presenting the latest and the clearest information, meaning political leaders would not have the excuse that they needed more research before agreeing on a deal.

As well as hearing from scientists, the meeting will also look at the social and economic impacts of the global rise in temperatures.

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