Climate Change 2001:
Working Group I: The Scientific Basis
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Executive Summary

Further work is required to improve the ability to detect, attribute, and understand climate change, to reduce uncertainties, and to project future climate changes. In particular, there is a need for additional systematic observations, modelling and process studies. A serious concern is the decline of observational networks. Further work is needed in eight broad areas:

Cutting across these foci are crucial needs associated with strengthening international co-operation and co-ordination in order to utilise better scientific, computational, and observational resources. This should also promote the free exchange of data among scientists. A special need is to increase the observational and research capacities in many regions, particularly in developing countries. Finally, as is the goal of this assessment, there is a continuing imperative to communicate research advances in terms that are relevant to decision making.

The challenges to understanding the Earth system, including the human component, are daunting, but these challenges simply must be met.

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