U.N. Science Panel Sees Faster Warming of Earth Scientists from a Nobel-winning panel on climate change have concluded that the planet is warming at an ever faster pace. The group released its stark findings at a conference in Spain.
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U.N. Science Panel Sees Faster Warming of Earth

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U.N. Science Panel Sees Faster Warming of Earth

U.N. Science Panel Sees Faster Warming of Earth

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ANDREA SEABROOK, Host:

Jerome, can you just sum up the main points of the report by the panel?

JEROME SOCOLOVSKY: He said that the threat of global warming, of these extreme weather events, will be the most grave to those who are already in a vulnerable position in developing countries or poor people in rich countries.

SEABROOK: Melting glaciers will trigger mountain floods and lead to water shortages in Southeast Asia and South America. Rising sea levels could inundate small-island developing states, reduce the rain fall, will aggravate water and food insecurity in Africa.

SEABROOK: Jerome, that sounds pretty dire. Did the panel make any recommendations?

SOCOLOVSKY: One of the positive things in this report is that it shouldn't cost all that much to counteract global warming or to reduce it. They're saying that it could cost as little as a 10th of a percent of global GDP to have an adequate response to climate change.

SEABROOK: So what happens now? Where does the report go next?

SOCOLOVSKY: Now, the U.S. and China were not part of that protocol - are not bound by it. A lot of countries haven't even met that 5 percent reduction. But this report should be quite influential there given that this panel got the Nobel Peace Prize and is picking it up in the coming weeks as well.

SEABROOK: Thanks very much.

SOCOLOVSKY: You're welcome, Andrea.

SEABROOK: Dr. Sharon Hays, the leader of the American delegation, said her team wanted to get the science right.

SEABROOK: It is true that we asked lots of questions, and we engaged in an energetic discussion with other delegations and with the scientist authors. But ultimately, our goal is to get the science right and when the scientists have an opinion on that we listened to it very, very carefully.

SEABROOK: Dr. Hays also spoke about the evolution of the Bush administration's stance on global warming. She said the president's opinions have changed as the science supporting climate change has become more certain.

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