ABSTRACT

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess the scientific basis and impact of climate change. In its Second Assessment Report published in 1996 the IPCC noted that “the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate”. 1 An increase in global surface temperature of between 1 and 3.5 degrees Celsius by 2100 was predicted when compared to 1990 temperatures, a “rate of warming [which] would probably be greater than any seen in the last 10,000 years”. 2 The work of the IPCC is ongoing and its Third Assessment Report published in 2001 projected even larger temperature increases in the same period of between 1.4 and 5.6 degrees Celsius. 3