Scientists: Earth Could Heat Up for Centuries

In Paris, representatives from 113 countries have banded together and come out with headlines about climate change that could change history.

The most extensive report on global warming to date was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change today. In the report, an international collection of leading scientists warn that the Earth's climate will continue to heat up for centuries. For the first time ever, the report confirms that global warming is very likely man-made.

In Paris, ABC's Sam Champion listed the report's most significant and shocking findings.

With more than 90 percent certainty, man's burning of fossil fuels is heating the planet.

Hurricanes are very likely the result of global warming.

By the end of the century, sea levels could rise by nearly 2 feet, swamping coastal areas worldwide

The temperature increase this century may be the most significant in thousands of years.

Arctic ice could disappear during summers by the year 2100.

Heat waves and downpours will be more frequent and ferocious.

A Tool for the Future

Back in Washington, the White House called the report a significant and valuable tool for policymaking.

Global policy changes typically move slowly, but scientists feel the report will give them the scientific backing they need to take quick steps to control what many call the most significant problem facing the planet.

After the world's leading scientists made their troubling predictions, Champion spoke with the report's authors.

Asked by Champion whether the report will actually make a difference, co-author Kevin Trenberth of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research said, "We sure hope so…It's the best chance we've ever had."