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Climate Science Some very recent additions (Stavcon Nov 2012) Keith Burrows Download this presentation from: Australian Institute of Physics Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Science Some very recent additions (Stavcon Nov 2012) Keith Burrows Download this presentation from: Australian Institute of Physics Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Science Some very recent additions (Stavcon Nov 2012) Keith Burrows Download this presentation from: Australian Institute of Physics Education Committee

2 17 November 2012

3 Permafrost is melting (much) faster than expected

4  The Age, UNEP

5 International Permafrost Association

6 “The latest estimate is that some 18.8 million square kilometres of northern soils hold about 1,700 billion tonnes of organic carbon—the remains of plants and animals that have been accumulating in the soil over thousands of years. That is about four times more than all the carbon emitted by human activity in modern times and twice as much as is present in the atmosphere now.”

7 Permafrost is melting (much) faster than expected  Nature

8 Permafrost is melting (much) faster than expected  The Australian (28 Nov)  “Meanwhile, a United Nations report has warned that thawing permafrost covering almost a quarter of the northern hemisphere could "significantly amplify global warming" at a time when the world is already struggling to reign in rising greenhouse gases.”  “But it said studies of permafrost had proved inconclusive.”

9  “The complacency is astonishing. Last time the permafrost thawed, temperatures rose 6 degrees. Sea levels were up to six metres higher in the last interglacial period. But that was long before modern civilisation. Today's 7 billion people depend for their survival on reliable, stable sources of food and water. Billions live in vulnerable coastal areas. It may soon be beyond our powers - political or technological - to keep climate change in check, forcing us to turn our attention to managing and adapting to life- changing challenges. And these will be much more costly and difficult than the challenge of cutting our emissions.”

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17 “The lack of action on climate change not only risks putting prosperity out of reach of millions of people in the developing world, it threatens to roll back decades of sustainable development.” “We are well aware of the uncertainty that surrounds these scenarios and we know that different scholars and studies sometimes disagree on the degree of risk.

18 “But the fact that such scenarios cannot be discarded is sufficient to justify strengthening current climate change policies. … While every region of the world will be affected, the poor and most vulnerable would be hit hardest. A 4°C world can, and must, be avoided.” Dr. Jim Yong Kim President, World Bank Group

19 Climate psychology  People use all sorts of psychological theory to ‘explain’ climate denial.  BUT...

20 Denier tactics:

21  … the world's greatest climate scientist is arguably Professor Richard Lindzen, who last year told me "since 1995, there hasn't been much warming, certainly not that can be distinguished from noise", and the carbon tax "will have no impact on climate". Herald-Sun 20 August, 2012

22  BEST Sceptics & DeniersDeniers

23  BEST

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27  Bolt

28 Alan Jones... (or Andrew Bolt)

29 Murdoch Media Bias Alan Jones addresses an anti C-tax rally in Melbourne ''The notion of global warming is a hoax. This is witchcraft. Commonsense will tell you it's rubbish; 97 per cent of all carbon dioxide occurs naturally … 3 per cent around the world is created by human beings.''

30 Murdoch Media Bias Alan Jones addresses an anti C-tax rally in Melbourne '“And of course carbon dioxide isn’t a pollutant. It’s a harmless trace gas that’s necessary for life” Alan Jones, 2GB, 15 March 2011.

31 “Climate change is natural, just get used to it!” “Since 1998 the Earth has been cooling” “Climate change is crap”

32 Science and politics don’t mix!  Unfortunately climate change has become a political issue  Many on the ‘right’ see government action as a threat to ‘freedom’  Many on the ‘left’ see it as an issue which supports their view of capitalism.  But it is fundamentally a scientific issue and the science is clear!

33 33 Introduction Since 2007, The Climate Institute has conducted comprehensive quantitative and qualitative research into Australian attitudes to climate change and its solutions. We have published a number of Climate of the Nation reports and aim to publish annual mid-year reports to track evolving attitudes and actions. Climate of the Nation 2012 Australian Attitudes on Climate Change The Climate Institute is an independent research organisation. Our vision is for a resilient Australia, prospering in a zero-carbon global economy, participating fully and fairly in international climate change solutions.

34 34 Conclusion Australians in 2012 are sick of the politics, scared of rising costs, yet still anxious about the impacts of climate change on their way of life and the environment. More people than in the past are uncertain about the science and many are unconvinced by the carbon laws. But ultimately a significant part of the population is open to be convinced on both.

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