Sceptics say global warming 'not as urgent as believed'

Sceptics have said a slowing of the pace of warming this century after fast gains in the 1980s and 1990s, is a sign that global warming may not be as urgent a problem as previously believed, despite a major UN report on climate change due to be published today.

Some countries stressed that it was also "virtually certain", or at least 99 percent probable, that natural variations in the climate were not the sole cause.

The report will face extra scrutiny after the IPCC made errors in its 2007 report, including an exaggeration of the melt rate of Himalayan glaciers. An outside review of the IPCC found that the mistake did not affect its main conclusions.

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Climate change '95% man-made'

Scientists have said they are more certain than ever that humans are responsible for the majority of climate change, according to a major report on the issue. But the trend in the average global temperature has declined since 1998.