WASHINGTON –  Today, In the first Congressional hearing on the Working Group I section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fourth assessment report, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change, Ranking Republican Ralph Hall (R-TX) urged economically responsible actions to deal with climate change. 

“We have an historic opportunity to use American innovation to help address this problem, and our committee is poised to offer competitive solutions,” Hall said.  “I would like to see more discussion of how technology, especially alternative energy technologies, can help address the issue of energy independence and climate change.  I would also like to explore how we can encourage the development of technologies to use existing domestic resources more cleanly, effectively, and efficiently.  In fact, later this morning we will consider an alternative energy technology bill on the House floor. 

“There is no limit to American innovation.  When we put our minds to solving a problem, we find answers that not only benefit our country, but also the world.  We have always been leaders in technology-this should be no exception.  I would like to see this committee promote the development of a wide range of new technologies to help America become energy independent while maintaining our competitive edge in the world economy.  In the end, innovation can do a lot, but only so much.  World powers must absolutely do their part.  Without this, there can be no true success in solving the problem of global warming.”

The IPCC released the Working Group I section of its fourth assessment report on February 2, which discusses the current knowledge of the physical science behind global climate change.  In today’s hearing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) testified on the first witness panel, followed by a second panel composed of four of the scientists involved in Working Group I.  The scientists reiterated the findings of the report and went into detail about the respective chapters for which they contributed.

The second panel of witnesses consisted of: Dr. Susan Solomon, Co-Chair, IPCC, Working Group I: The Physical Basis of Climate Change; Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Coordinating Lead Author, IPCC, Working Group I, Chapter 3: Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change; Dr. Richard Alley, Lead Author, IPCC, Working Group I, Chapter 4: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground; and Dr. Gerald Meehl, Coordinating Lead Author, IPCC, Working Group I, Chapter 10: Global Climate Projectionsi.