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The vital need for a climate information system

Abstract

There is increasing acceptance among the general public that the climate is changing and that it is mainly due to human activities. Scientists have long been aware of this and it has been made clear in the many IPCC assessment reports since the second in 1995, and in domestic reports such as the US National Climate Assessments. A major concern of scientists, not adequately appreciated by the public and politicians, is that evidence of dangers warranting policy responses may be delayed or muted by the tremendous inertia in the climate system, so that by the time problems are abundantly clear it may be too late to do anything about them.

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