Dangerous climate effects could include flooding of coastal cities and island nations, disruptions to agriculture and drinking water, and the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.
A small minority of scientists still question whether the warming seen in recent decades is due to human activities, such as carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. On Tuesday, Ban said it was time to “prove wrong all these doubts on climate change.”
Global warming skeptic John Christy of the University of Alabama said Ban’s statement was “representative of a religion, not science.”
“Science requires questioning (i.e. skepticism) those who wish to stifle debate using arguments from authority (not arguments from evidence),” Christy wrote in an email.
In 2010, a survey of more than 1,000 of the most cited and published climate scientists found that 97 percent of them believe climate change is very likely caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
Karl Ritter is reachable at http://www.twitter.com/karl_ritter
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