Two years, and 1,057 scientists 637 authors

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The Independent Online

The intergovernment Panel on Climate Change was set up jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation in 1988. Its remit is to provide an authoritative, international consensus of scientific opinion on climate change using the best expertise available.

The IPCC is in effect a talking shop for the world's leading specialists in climate change and global warming. The panel's third report took two years to write and involved 122 main authors and 515 contributing authors. Another 420 scientists were involved in reviewing the evidence before it was finally ready to be published by Cambridge University Press (CUP) in Britain.

The report, Climate Change 2001, comes in three volumes: I – The Scientific Basis; II – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability; and III – Mitigation. "Together they form the most comprehensive picture of the state of the climate and the global environment yet published," said CUP.