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Climate change is a very complex issue. In order to make decisions, governments need an objective source of information on the causes of climate change, its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts, and options for adapting to it. Therefore the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations in 1988.

The IPCC is a scientific institution with a mandate to assess the risks of global warming and to develop prevention strategies. To achieve this the IPCC publishes regularly reports covering the latest research on global warming.

Contributions are written by experts from all regions of the world and then examined in a two-step process by experts and governments. When governments approve the IPCC reports, they accept the legitimacy of the scientific content of these reports.
 
The IPCC methodology is supported by the national science academies of the major industrialized countries and of many emerging and developing countries as well as scientific societies around the world.

The Fourth Assessment Report from February 2007 asserted that, with a ninety-percent probability, human activity is the cause of global warming. Over 1,200 scientists worldwide worked on it, one half writing the report, the other half reviewing it.

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