Global Warming Already Underway, but It Is Not Too Late to Slow It Down

April 6, 2007
Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their fourth assessment report on the the present stage of climate change around the world entitled, "Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability." It provides a rigorous analysis of how climate change is affecting natural and human systems, what the impacts will be in the future and how far adaptation and mitigation can reduce these impacts.

Of the report, Speaker Pelosi said:

The new scientific report on global warming warns that global warming is already affecting the earth and that the effects are likely to be significant and widespread in this century, causing increased drought, drinking water shortages, and widespread extinction of species. Poor people around the world are especially vulnerable to the hazards of climate change.

Global warming is already underway, but it is not too late to slow it down and reduce its harmful effects. We must base our actions on the moral imperative and the scientific record, free of political interference in scientists' assessments of the effects of climate change on society and the environment.

In this Holy Week, we are reminded of these words in the Old Testament: 'To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.' We must move quickly to honor God's creation by reducing greenhouse gas pollution in the United States and around the world.

Science & Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) 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.

The Science Committee will hold a hearing on this report on April 17th, hearing directly from the scientists who authored this latest IPCC report.

To read the report, visit the IPCC web site>>