for National Geographic News
Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to publicize and understand human-caused global warming.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee this morning announced that the former U.S. vice president and the United Nations' climate panel will equally share the prestigious award for "their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
Gore and the IPCC were chosen from a list of 181 candidates to split the prize, worth 10 million Swedish kronors (about 1.5 million U.S. dollars).
The award committee, based in Oslo, Norway, said their decision was intended to bring into sharper focus the actions "necessary to protect the world's future climate and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind.
"Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man's control," the committee added. (See a video about the winners.)
Gore has been a leading voice among environmental campaigners who warn that Earth is under severe threat from climate change caused by rising levels of greenhouse gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activity.
Since leaving office in 2001, the former vice president has lectured around the world about the perils of global warming. Last year he also presented an Oscar-winning documentary on the subject, An Inconvenient Truth.
Gore "is probably the single individual who has done the most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted" to tackle global warming, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
The IPCC, based in Geneva, Switzerland, pools the research of 2,500 scientists in more than 130 countries who study the causes and impacts of climate change.
Earlier this year, the IPCC concluded that global warming is "unequivocal" and that human activity is almost certainly the cause.
The U.N. panel also warned that global warming could claim hundreds of millions of human lives due to increased risk of disease, starvation, and conflict triggered by drought, floods, storms, and other severe climate effects.
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