Human influence causing climate warming: IPCC report

New Delhi, Observing that humans are the dominant cause of global warming, a UN climate panel has warned that climate change will impact human health, south Asian settlements and infrastructure through flooding, and will aggravate food and water shortages in the region.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in a report Wednesday, said there was a 95 percent probability that human influence is the dominant cause of the observed global warming since the mid-20th century. The rate of climate change has been unprecedented compared to previous decades and millennia and the average increase in temperature of the earth's surface has been 0.85 degree Centigrade, it said.

The IPCC issued its latest assessment of the causes, impacts and solutions to climate science, in three parts, starting in September last year under the title "Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change". Its fifth assessment report, titled "IPCC AR5 - What it means for a strong inclusive India" was released here Wednesday.

Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, who participated in the event to release the report, said extraordinary solutions were needed to address the extraordinary challenge of climate change.

"People's participation is crucial for developing and implementing environment-related programmes. Though growth as priority might lead to increased emission of harmful greenhouse gases, India is still committed to sustained green growth," Javadekar said.

The event was organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in cooperation with IPCC and Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and in partnership with the ministry for earth sciences.

Speaking on the occasion, director general of TERI R.K. Pachauri said the report contains important findings on the underlying physical science basis of climate change.

"Dealing with climate change would require a substantial expansion of awareness on all aspects of climate change, and these may be relevant for decision-making in India. India as a signatory to global agreements on climate change also has a responsiblity to take appropriate action," Pachauri said.

Industry chamber Assocham president Rana Kapoor said the findings were an eye-opener at a time when India was facing scarcity of rain.

The report further said it is likely that the number of cold days and nights has decreased and the number of warm days and nights has increased across most of Asia since 1950.

"The Asian region experienced the most weather- and climate-related disasters in the world between 2000 and 2008 and suffered the second highest proportion (almost 30 percent) of total global economic losses," the report added.

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