•Greater warming over land and at most high northern latitudes, and less over the Southern Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic.

•Snow cover contracting, and widespread increases in permafrost thaw.

•Sea ice shrinking in both the Arctic and Antarctic, with late-summer sea ice in the Arctic disappearing almost entirely by 2100.

•More frequent heat extremes, heat waves and heavy rain events.

•More intense typhoons and hurricanes, with greater peak wind speeds and heavier precipitation.

Bruce Wielicki, climate expert at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, said the working group is trying to convey a better understanding of the big picture.

"Sea level in particular is going to be such a big issue" for Hampton Roads, Wielicki said. "It's really an issue for the whole community to try to deal with."

Wielicki had no role in this latest IPCC report, but did contribute a small section of writing and reviewed two chapters in the IPCC report issued last October that gave the physical science basis for climate change.

Hampton Roads is considered on the front lines of climate change because of its flood-prone, low-lying communities, the land's ongoing subsidence and the seasonal risk of hurricanes and storm surge.

Some local cities are beginning to assess their own risks, and last year Naval Station Norfolk was the subject of Department of Defense-funded computer simulations to study its vulnerability to major hurricanes and sea-level rise.

The IPCC report was written by 309 scientists from 70 countries drawing from about 12,000 scientific papers. Some 436 other authors contributed, along with 1,729 expert and government reviewers.

Dietrich can be reached by phone at 757-247-7892.