UN Climate Change Organizations and Programs

The Copenhagen Diagnosis report 2009


The Copenhagen Diagnosis is an important new report that documents the key findings in climate change science since the 2007 IPCC Science report. The press report is here, and the full report in high resolution is here. There is also text dealing with some common misconceptions.

The new evidence to have emerged includes:

  • Satellite and direct measurements now demonstrate that both the Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass and contributing to sea level rise at an increasing rate. Sea level has risen ... about 80% higher than IPCC projections from 2001. Accounting for ice-sheets and glaciers, global sea-level rise may exceed 1 meter by 2100, with a rise of up to 2 meters considered an upper limit by this time.  

  • In 2008 carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels were ~40% higher than those in 1990. Even if emissions do not grow beyond today’s levels, within just 20 years the world will have used up the allowable emissions to have a reasonable chance of limiting warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

The report concludes that global emissions must peak then decline rapidly within the next five to ten years for the world to have a reasonable chance of avoiding the very worst impacts of climate change.

To stabilize climate, global emissions of carbon dioxide and other long-lived greenhouse gases need to reach near-zero well within this century, the report states.

Here is the report's Executive Summary:


Copenhagen Diagnosis Executive Summary





Dash, J. (2010). The Copenhagen Diagnosis report 2009. Retrieved from http://climate.uu-uno.org/view/article/51cbebbf7896bb431f689c17


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