* United Nations climate experts meet in Stockholm
* Report is main climate guide for governments
* Draft says 95 pct certain human activity main cause of
* Warming slow-down this century only a hiatus - IPCC says
By Anna Ringstrom
STOCKHOLM, Sept 23 A United Nations panel of
experts met on Monday to review a draft report that raises the
probability that climate change is man-made to 95 percent and
warns of ever more extreme weather unless governments take
Scientists and officials from more than 110 governments
began a four-day meeting in Stockholm to edit and approve the
31-page draft that also tries to explain a "hiatus" in the pace
of global warming this century despite rising greenhouse gas
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will go
through the document line by line and present it on Friday as a
main guide for governments, which have agreed to work out a
United Nations deal by the end of 2015 to fight global warming.
"I expect the world will understand the simplicity and the
gravity of the message that we provide," Rajendra Pachauri,
chairman of the IPCC, said after the opening session.
Climate change "will transform our lives, our economies and
indeed the way our planet will function in the future," Achim
Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Programme, told delegates.
A shift towards a greener economy, based on renewable
energies, would hold multiple benefits for society, he said.
IPCC drafts seen by Reuters say human activities, primarily
burning fossil fuels, are "extremely likely" - at least a 95
percent probability - to be the main cause of global warming
since the 1950s.
That is up from "very likely", or at least a 90 percent
probability, in the last report in 2007 and 66 percent in 2001,
draining hopes that natural variations in the climate might be
SEA LEVEL RISE
"There is high confidence that this has warmed the ocean,
melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level, and changed
some climate extremes," the draft says of man-made warming.
Most impacts are projected to get worse unless governments
cut greenhouse gas emissions sharply, it says. The report, by
259 authors in 39 countries, is the first of four due in the
next year about climate change by the IPCC.
One of the hardest issues for the IPCC may be accounting for
why temperatures have not risen much this century.
"Fifteen-year-long hiatus periods are common," in historical
climate records, an accompanying 127-page technical summary
A combination of natural variations, including a cyclical
dip in energy emitted by the sun, and factors such as volcanic
eruptions - which send ash into the atmosphere and help block
sunlight - have caused the hiatus, it says, predicting a
resumption of warming in coming years.
The report also finds that the atmosphere may be slightly
less sensitive to a build-up of carbon dioxide than expected.
Thomas Stocker, a scientist from the University of Bern who
is co-chair of the U.N. panel, urged delegates to produce a
clear document "with no compromises to scientific accuracy."
The draft says temperatures could rise by up to 4.8 degrees
Celsius (8.6 Fahrenheit) this century, but could be held to a
rise of 0.3C (0.5F) with deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
Governments have promised to limit a rise in temperatures to 2
degrees C (3.6 F) above pre-industrial times.
The range differs from scenarios of 1.1 to 6.4C gains by
2100 in 2007, largely because of new computer models.
The draft also says sea levels, which rose 19 cm (7.5
inches) in the 20th century, could rise by an extra 26 to 81 cm
towards the end of this century, threatening coasts.
That rise is more than was projected in 2007, although that
report did not take full account of melting ice in Greenland and
The report is the main guide for governments planning action
against global warming and steps to mitigate its effects. It
will face extra scrutiny after the 2007 report exaggerated the
rate of melt of the Himalayan glaciers. A review of the IPCC
said that the main conclusions were unaffected by the error.
Environmentalists called for quick action. Greenpeace said
governments should heed the report and shift to clean energies.
The WWF's Samantha Smith said: "The natural world is sending a
distress signal and we're ignoring it at our own peril."