That's the good new. The bad news is the panel concluded that we are in deep doo-doo.
"The Earth is hurtling toward a warmer age at a quickening pace," according to the Nobel-winning UN scientific panel, and heading toward a future of "inevitable human suffering and the threat of species extinction."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said climate change imperils "the most precious treasures of our planet."
The potential impact of global warming is "so severe and so sweeping that only urgent global action will do," Ban told the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change after it issued its fourth and final report this year.
The IPCC, following six days of sometimes tense negotiations, adopted a concise briefing paper on the science of climate change and the effects of human-produced greenhouse gases. It lays out various scenarios of future impacts, depending on how quickly and decisively action is taken.
The Summary for Policymakers, and a longer version called the synthesis report, distill thousands of pages of data and computer models resulting from six years of research compiled by the IPCC.
It will be a how-to guide for policy makers meeting next month in Bali, Indonesia, who will begin discussing a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol.
I'll be posting reactions to the Summary for Policymakers, which I've previously read in draft form, over the next day or so. Meanwhile, you can access the Summary here: IPCC Summary for Policymakers