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Chu: Climate change 'very, very scary'

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, April 18 (UPI) -- U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Saturday the prospect of more severe hurricanes and rising sea levels in the Caribbean is "very, very scary."

Chu, who met with government officials from other Western hemisphere nations at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, said it is "a demonstrable fact" that the climate is changing and "very, very convincing evidence -- very high probability it was caused predominantly by greenhouse gas emissions."

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Referring to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Chu said there is a reasonable probability that Earth's temperature will rise between 2 and 4 degrees Centigrade or more by the end of this century.

"I think the Caribbean countries face rising oceans and they face increase in the severity of hurricanes," he told reporters. "This is something that is very, very scary to all of us; that if you consider what has been happening, especially in the polar regions in the north, and you look at the predictions of the IPCC beginning in 1990, this is something they didn't do so well."

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Chu said polar ice is melting "considerably faster than anyone predicted" 10 years ago.

He said representatives of other nations attending the summit expressed "great concern" at a meeting Saturday about climate change, and said he was optimistic that the United States and other nations will be able to "establish a framework, an energy framework, and a climate change framework" that can help produce progress on energy and climate change issues.

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