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Climate Experts Meet to Discuss Long-Awaited Global Warming Report


Some of the world's top climate experts are gathered in Paris this week to assess evidence of global warming, amid mounting public concern about its effects. For VOA, Lisa Bryant has more on the meeting from the French capital.

The four-day climate meeting in Paris will conclude Friday with the release of a key assessment on signs of global warming and the fight to reduce it. Known as the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the highly respected panel of experts is conducting the first such review of the global warming phenomenon since 2001.

Since then, a number of countries, including France, have experienced some of their hottest summers on record and other tumultuous weather patterns that experts say can be associated with climate change. And a number of countries, such as those in the European Union, have taken steps to fight against the phenomenon.

But more needs to be done, scientists like Kenneth Denman say. Denman is one of the lead authors in the upcoming report by the U.N. climate change panel.

"They say 'think globally, act locally,' so we're hoping that it will convince people that climate change is real, and that we have a responsibility for much of it, and that we really do have to make changes in how we live," said Denman.

Not far from the Paris meeting Monday, Greenpeace activists scaled the Eiffel Tower to hang banners highlighting the threat of climate change. Greenpeace climate change campaigner Laeticia Demarez says public opinion is pushing governments to take measures to fight against global warming.

"We've seen in the last few months in the US, in Australia, in Canada, in France, in Europe that climate change is a very hot political issue, especially in election debates. So the public wants the governments to act urgently," said Demarez.

Some scientists reportedly worry that the climate change report that will be issued Friday will be too upbeat. It must be approved by all 154 member governments. But Demarez, for one, believes it will prompt some countries, such as the United States, which have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, to take new measures to combat climate change.