Systematic observing and research

Although the science to provide policymakers with information about climate change impacts and adaptation potential has improved since the Third Assessment, it still leaves many important questions to be answered. The chapters of the Working Group II Fourth Assessment include a number of judgements about priorities for further observation and research, and this advice should be considered seriously (a list of these recommendations is given in the Technical Summary Section TS-6).

Sustainable development14 can reduce vulnerability to climate change, and climate change could impede nations' abilities to achieve sustainable development pathways.

Many impacts can be avoided, reduced or delayed by mitigation.

14 The Brundtland Commission definition of sustainable development is used in this Assessment: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". The same definition was used by the IPCC Working Group II Third Assessment and Third Assessment Synthesis Report.

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