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Climate Change - Meteorologists in Action C Y Lam Hong Kong Observatory.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change - Meteorologists in Action C Y Lam Hong Kong Observatory."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change - Meteorologists in Action C Y Lam Hong Kong Observatory

2 Paris, 2 February 2007 IPCC – The evidence for human-caused global warming is now “ unequivocal ”. Now accepted by most, taken for granted But, it has taken three decades to reach this position.

3 (background figure after IPCC, 2007) The 30-year Journey 330 ppm 380 ppm

4 WMO & Meteorologists Rational approach: data & research Engagement: partners & stakeholders, impacts & responses Community level: attitude change, teach & preach

5 1 st WMO statement, 1976 Carbon dioxide – 330 ppm Accumulation of carbon dioxide – potential impact on climate vs natural variability Food as key issue, other disruptions too

6 1 st World Climate Conference, 1979 (WMO, UNEP, FAO UNESCO, WHO) “ a gradual warming of the lower atmosphere appears plausible ” “ some effects …. detectable before the end of this century ” Declaration: urgent actions to improve knowledge and to foresee & prevent potential man-made changes

7 WMO World Climate Programme, 1979 Data Applications Research Impacts on human activities Multiple international partners

8 Data WMO Global Observing System – based on national meteorological services WMO Global Atmospheric Watch – specialized network to measure atmospheric composition Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), 1992 – WMO, IOC-UNESCO,UNEP, ICSU 380 ppm, 0.74°C/100 years (IPCC, 2007)

9 Research World Climate Research Programme, 1985 WMO, ICSU, IOC-UNESCO Large scale projects, all climate components Underpins UNFCCC & IPCC assessments

10 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change WMO & UNEP,1988 Assessment reports based on published literature, covering: – state of climate – potential impact – policy options in response 1 st report, 1990; 4 th report 2007

11 2 nd World Climate Conference, 1990 ( WMO, UNEP, UNESCO, IOC, FAO, ICSU) Carbon dioxide 350 ppm After 1 st IPCC Assessment Report Ministerial Declaration: – noted unprecedented rate of climate change predicted by IPCC – association with greenhouse gases – call for negotiations →UNFCCC 1992 – well-informed public

12 (background figure after IPCC, 2007) The Long Journey +20ppm

13 30 years after 1 st WMO Statement IPCC 4 th Assessment Report, 2007 –“ warming of the climate system is unequivocal ” –“ very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations ”

14 (background figure after IPCC, 2007) The Long Journey “unequivocal” after +50 ppm ↑ 30-year wait ↓

15 Current general acceptance of human-induced climate change It came about not by accident But by meteorologists –sounding the alarm 30 years ago –organizing observations & research –engaging partners & stakeholders

16 Reaching Out - Teach and Preach A well-informed public – the responsibility of meteorological services working at the “ local ” level Must be based on –Observations –Understanding of the phenomenon –Projections into the future

17 Hong Kong Observatory Records since 1884 Announced observed trends Also urbanization effects Projections for 21 st century

18 Relating to people People don ’ t appreciate : “ 3.5°C rise in temperature in 21 st century” “Temperature varies more than this in a day. What is the problem?”

19 “ No winter by the end of the century ” “ Less than one cold day per winter. ”

20 “ cold winter no more ” Hong Kong, August 2004

21 Reaching out to people press conferenceradio & TV open day

22 The public & green groups partnering with green groups lectures for students public lectures

23 Road blocks Low public interest relative to economic and social issues Lack of sense of being “ immediate ” and “ close ” “ Small city ” psychology, but actually 0.1% of world population

24 More teaching and preaching Information on trend, potential impacts, basic causes and what people can do A matter of attitude and life style Education package & school activities More partners

25 Meteorologists – not purely scientists We sounded the alarm; now we should enable people to respond. Reach out, with clear message for people. Climate change is multi-disciplinary by nature; engage full spectrum of partners.

26 (background figure after IPCC, 2007) Another 30 years for action? “unequivocal” after +50 ppm ↑ 30-year wait ↓

27 WMO & meteorologists will act together with all to stop the world drifting irreversibly into a state unsuitable for human habitation. We cannot wait for another 30 years.

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