Royal Society Coral Crisis Working Group 6 July 2009
Metrics for Dangerous Change Extermination of Animal & Plant Species 1. Extinction of Polar and Alpine Species 2. Unsustainable Migration Rates Ice Sheet Disintegration: Global Sea Level 1. Long-Term Change from Paleoclimate Data 2. Ice Sheet Response Time Regional Climate Disruptions 1. Increase of Extreme Events 2. Shifting Zones/Freshwater Shortages Taken from James Hansens presentation: Climate Threat to the Planet. The Path from Science to Action. Trinity International University June 5 2009
Assessment of Target CO 2 (Hansen et al 2009) Phenomenon Target CO 2 (ppm) 1. Arctic Sea Ice300-325 2. Ice Sheets/Sea Level300-350 3. Shifting Climatic Zones300-350 4 Alpine Water Supplies300-350 5. Ocean Acidification300-350 Initial target CO 2 < 350 ppm * *assumes CH4, O3, Black Soot decrease Taken from James Hansens presentation: Climate Threat to the Planet. The Path from Science to Action. Trinity International University June 5 2009
Key actions for getting back to 350ppm 1. Phase Out Coal CO 2 Emissions - by 2025/2030 developed/developing countries 2. Rising Carbon Price - discourages unconventional fossil fuels & extraction of every last drop of oil (Arctic, etc.) 3. Soil & Biosphere CO 2 Sequestration - improved farming & forestry practices 4. Reduce non-CO 2 Forcings - reduce CH 4, O 3, trace gases, black soot
In summary: Human driven climate change is real and the danger is far greater than most people are aware. Its imperative that we restore Earths energy imbalance (i.e. get back to <350ppm CO 2. ) with all urgency. We need to understand & act on the developing threat & response imperatives. We should be redoubling efforts to ensure the current destruction of natural systems is halted. These are key to our survival. We need to be planning for the now unavoidable impacts of climate change. We have precious little time to avert runaway climate change.
The critical importance of natural systems UNEP atlas of carbon stored by biome
Zoo community focus actions: Keep on top of the emerging threat and response information and the wider environmental/climate community. Take up and disseminate the WAZA position statement and support materials Consider decision maker communication initiatives (as we did for COP-15) Increase pubic engagement (exhibits, Websites, media, talks/symposia etc) Realise potential of our zoo sites for research. Need to agree improvements to current threat evaluation process. Highlight Zoo focus species (CP and ICP programmes etc) Need to increase specialist collaborations (e.g. Hadley, NASA) Fully utilise the international WAZA community network. Need to be flexible and responsive to emerging developments (eg phytoplankton decline) and react accordingly.