Posted at: 09/28/2013 10:01 AM
Updated at: 09/28/2013 12:11 PM
By: Cassie Hart
Climate activists say Friday's report from an international panel of scientists should spur governments to act against global warming.
The panel said scientists now believe it's "extremely likely" that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming. They've moved from being 90 percent certain of that, to being 95 percent certain.
It's about the same degree of certainty they have that smoking kills.
The Intragovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has 195 member countries, adopted the report today after all-night talks at a meeting in Stockholm.
One of the most controversial subjects in the report was how to deal with what appears to be a slowdown in warming if you look at temperature data for the past 15 years. In the end, the panel made only a brief mention of the issue, stressing that short-term records can be variable, and don't in general reflect long-term trends.
As expected, the panel raised its projections of the rise in sea levels -- now forecasting those levels to rise between 10 and 32 inches by the end of the century. A previous report predicted a rise of between seven and 23 inches.
Secretary of State John Kerry said of the report, "If this isn't an alarm bell, then I don't know what one is."
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