Report: UN panel finds it's 95 percent likely humans cause of climate change

Leaked drafts of a United Nations report show scientists have never been more confident that climate change is occurring, according to Reuters.

Scientists say it is at least 95 percent likely that humans are the main cause of climate change, largely by burning fossil fuels, Reuters said of the findings in the draft Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

That’s up 90 percent from the last report in 2007, and far surpasses the 66 percent in 2001, Reuters reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

Reuters noted the report, scheduled for a September release, will face 'intense scrutiny,' as nations try to craft a deal aimed at holding global temperature increases to below 2 degrees Celsius. The goal of UN-hosted talks is to reach an agreement in 2015 that would take effect in 2020.

From Reuters:

The new study will state with greater confidence than in 2007 that rising manmade greenhouse gas emissions have already meant more heatwaves. But it is likely to play down some tentative findings from 2007, such as that human activities have contributed to more droughts.

Almost 200 governments have agreed to try to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, seen as a threshold for dangerous changes including more droughts, extinctions, floods and rising seas that could swamp coastal regions and entire island nations.

The report will flag a high risk that global temperatures will increase this century by more than that level, and will say that evidence of rising sea levels is now "unequivocal".

Read the full story here.

This story was updated on Aug. 18 at 2:22 p.m.