UN panel: global warming human-caused, dangerous

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UN panel: global warming human-caused, dangerous
Members of the ecological action group Greenpeace display a giant banner during the opening ceremony of the week-long UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) XXVII session at the City of the Arts and Sciences complex in Valencia, Spain. Monday, Nov. 12, 2007. The IPCC opens a weeklong conference that will complete a concise guide on the state of global warming and what can be done to stop the Earth from overheating. (AP Photo/Fernando Bustamante)
FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2013 file photo cows are standing in front of the latest coal-fired power station of German power provider RWE in Hamm, Germany. After concluding that global warming is almost certainly man-made and poses a grave threat to humanity, the U.N.-sponsored expert panel on climate change is moving on to the next phase: what to do about it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, will meet next week in Berlin to chart ways in which the world can curb the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are overheating the planet. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
FILE - In this June 29, 2011 file photo a car passes by a a biogas plant and windmills near Nauen, Germany. After concluding that global warming is almost certainly man-made and poses a grave threat to humanity, the U.N.-sponsored expert panel on climate change is moving on to the next phase: what to do about it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, will meet next week in Berlin to chart ways in which the world can curb the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are overheating the planet. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2011 file photo photovoltaic modules and a windmill of the wind farm are pictured at the village of Feldheim near Berlin, Germany. After concluding that global warming is almost certainly man-made and poses a grave threat to humanity, the U.N.-sponsored expert panel on climate change is moving on to the next phase: what to do about it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, will meet next week in Berlin to chart ways for the world to rein in the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are overheating the planet. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)
Japanese Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara (L) delivers an opening speech while Rajendra Pachauri (R), chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) looks on at the opening session of the tenth plenary of the IPCC Working Group II in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on March 25, 2014. International scientists gathered near Tokyo for a week-long meeting centred on a grim climate change report that warned of floods and drought that could stoke conflicts and wreak havoc on the global economy. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
Japanese Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara (3rd L) delivers an opening speech at the opening session of the 10th plenary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on March 25, 2014. International scientists gathered near Tokyo for a week-long meeting centred on a grim climate change report that warned of floods and drought that could stoke conflicts and wreak havoc on the global economy. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of environmental group Greenpeace display a banner and life preservers with the names of world leaders to protest against global warming, in front of the venue for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II session in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on March 30, 2014. International scientists gathered in Yokohama for a week-long IPCC meeting to submit further evidence that climate change was bringing floods and drought that would lead to conflicts and serious economic damage. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
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By SETH BORENSTEIN
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous - and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report that wasn't in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to connect the different scientific disciplines studying problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.

The 127-page draft, obtained by The Associated Press, paints a harsh warning of what's causing global warming and what it will do to humans and the environment. It also describes what can be done about it.

"Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems," the report says. The final report will be issued after governments and scientists go over the draft line by line in an October conference in Copenhagen.

Depending on circumstances and values, "currently observed impacts might already be considered dangerous," the report says. It mentions extreme weather and rising sea levels, such as heat waves, flooding and droughts. It even raises, as an earlier report did, the idea that climate change will worsen violent conflicts and refugee problems and could hinder efforts to grow more food. And ocean acidification, which comes from the added carbon absorbed by oceans, will harm marine life, it says.

Without changes in greenhouse gas emissions, "climate change risks are likely to be high or very high by the end of the 21st century," the report says.

In 2009, countries across the globe set a goal of limiting global warming to about another 2 degrees Fahrenheit above current levels. But the report says that it is looking more likely that the world will shoot past that point. Limiting warming to that much is possible but would require dramatic and immediate cuts in carbon dioxide pollution.

The report says if the world continues to spew greenhouse gases at its accelerating rate, it's likely that by mid-century temperatures will increase by about another 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) compared to temperatures from 1986 to 2005. And by the end of the century, that scenario will bring temperatures that are about 6.7 degrees warmer (3.7 degrees Celsius).
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