(Washington, DC)  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this morning in Brussels released the second in a series of major reports due out this year on global climate change and its affects. 

Science & Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) today issued the following statement on the report:

“For the first time, the world’s top scientists are able to confidently attribute changes in a wide variety of ecosystems in all parts of the world to human-induced global warming.”

“This report, a tremendous scientific achievement, delivers a powerful and sobering message about the current state of our climate system.”

“The earth has warmed and will continue to warm through this century.  The Working Group II report discusses impacts over a range of temperature changes in five categories: water and food availability, coastal zones, natural ecosystems and human health.  Most of these impacts are negative.” 

“We can neutralize some of these by better adapting our society to these changes.  We should identify our vulnerable communities and begin working to reduce these vulnerabilities.” 

“I look forward to hearing directly from several of the report’s authors at our upcoming hearing.  They will help us better understand the impacts of climate change and the consequences if we fail to act.”

This Working Group II report entitled, “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability,” will be the topic of a full Committee hearing on April 17, 2007.  The Committee will again be among the first to hear directly from scientists who authored this latest IPCC report.  In February, the panel was the first Congressional Committee to hear from the authors of the Working Group I Report. 

More than 2,500 scientific expert reviewers from more than 130 countries spent six years working on the IPCC report released today.  Improved climate models and expanded observations, data and information have enabled the IPCC to increase the level of confidence in some of their earlier findings (e.g. attribution of warming to human-induced increases in greenhouse gas concentrations). 

The Working Group I report released earlier this year confirmed with 100% confidence that global warming was occurring and 90% confidence that it was due to human activity.  This Working Group II report details the affect that warming is having and will have on areas and ecosystems around the world.

Though some uncertainties do remain, these reports represent a significant expansion in our knowledge of the influence of human activity on the earth’s climate.  Nearly 30 years since the first international scientific conference on climate suggested that human activity could be impacting the earth’s climate, these reports confirm the original suspicions raised by scientists participating in the 1979 climate conference – as has every report of the IPCC from their first report in 1990, to the present.