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UN report: Global warming dials up our risks

Monday - 3/31/2014, 5:40pm  ET

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) -- The Obama White House says it's taking a new report from a U.N. scientific panel as a call for action on global warming. Secretary of State John Kerry says the report shows that "the costs of inaction are catastrophic."

According to the head of the U.N. panel, the world needs to cut pollution from heat-trapping gases, or the already-noticeable harms from global warming could spiral "out of control."

The report, from a Nobel Prize-winning group of scientists, says 21st-century disasters including killer heat waves in Europe, wildfires in the United States and droughts in Australia highlight how vulnerable humanity is to extreme weather. And the scientists say the dangers are going to worsen as the climate changes even more.

Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer, one of the main authors, says, "We're all sitting ducks."

More than 100 governments unanimously approved the 49-page summary, which is aimed at world political leaders. The summary mentions the word "risk" an average of more than five times a page.

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052-a-20-(Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, at United Nations panel of scientists)-"to be untouched"-The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Dr. Rajendra Pachauri) says there are good reasons for everyone to take note. (31 Mar 2014)

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033-c-14-(Carlotta Bradley, AP correspondent)-"changes even more"-AP correspondent Carlotta Bradley reports a new report says no one is immune from the climate changes to come. (31 Mar 2014)

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APPHOTO XKAN105: Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra K. Pachauri, center, speaks during a press conference in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday, March 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi) (31 Mar 2014)

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