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Climate change: the facts


Calls for a review of coastal planning policy come as a new report confirms that human activity is to blame for rising levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) these gases are forcing average global temperatures to rise, stimulating sea level rises, increased droughts, heatwaves, heavy rainfall and raising the intensity of tropical cyclones.

Key findings:

Carbon dioxide has increased from 280ppm in 1750 to 379ppm in 2005.

Methane has increased from a pre-industrial level of 715ppb to 1,732ppb in 2005.

Surface temperatures over 11 of the last 12 years have been the hottest since records began in 1850.

Since observations began in 1961, ocean average temperatures to a depth of 3,000m have increased, causing seawater expansion.

Sea levels have risen at an average rate of 1.8mm per year since 1961.

To read the report, go to http: //ipcc-wgl. ucar. edu/ index. html

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