U.N. Draft Cites Humans in Recent Climate Shifts

New York Times reports the latest United Nations assessment of the role of humans in global warming has found with “high confidence” that greenhouse gas emissions are at least partly responsible for a host of changes already under way, including longer growing seasons and shrinking glaciers.

A summary of the working draft of the report, to be released Friday in Brussels, was provided to The New York Times yesterday by several people involved in reviewing it. It is a detailed follow-up to a February report by the United Nations group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was the fourth assessment since 1990 of the basic science that points to a human hand on the planet’s thermostat.

That report said there was at least a 90 percent chance that most warming since 1950 had resulted from a continuing buildup of heat-trapping emissions in the atmosphere. The new report describes the specific effects of climate changes on people and ecology; identifies those species and regions at greatest risk; and describes options for limiting risks.

Some of the changes could be beneficial, but most will prove harmful in the long run, the report says.

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