Global Warming Irreversible, says IPCC

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Washington, Nov 18 (UNI) The fourth assessment report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has ascertained that Global Warming is unequivocal and could cause ''irreversible'' damage to the planet.

Launching the assessment report yesterday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said ''Slowing and even reversing the effects of climate change is the defining challenge of our age.'' He also stressed the report makes clear that concerted and sustained action now can still avoid some of the most catastrophic scenarios in the IPCC forecasts.

Mr Ban also asserted that to fight the menace of Global Warming, the world's industrialised countries must form a ''grand bargain'' with developing nations, which are the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri said governments have ''a wide variety of policies and instruments available to create incentives to mitigate behaviour, especially in the area of carbon emissions''.

''We need a new ethic by which every human being realizes the importance of the challenge we are facing and starts to take action through changes in lifestyle and attitude, '' he added.

The report details how reduced rainfall in much of Africa is likely to aggravate existing water shortages and slash crop yields, rising sea levels are set to inundate small island States and melting glaciers could trigger major floods in South Asia and South America.

More heat waves and periods of heavy rainfall are deemed very likely to occur, tropical cyclones are predicted to become more intense and a dramatic decrease in the polar ice caps is also expected as air and ocean temperatures keep rising.

In the worst case scenario, nearly a third of all of plant and animal species could be at risk of extinction.

It also explains that industry, agriculture and infrastructure can become far more energy-efficient, water can be more effectively conserved and used and countries can become less dependent on fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources of energy.

UNI

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