Sunday, July 17, 2011

Action on climate change is about a safe climate

The Conference last week was Four Degrees or more? Australia in a Hot World. Port Focus is about this place where we live, and climate change will affect the place where we live most profoundly. For this reason, I thought I would share some of the material presented at the conference over the coming week and refer you to some information sources should you wish to pursue them in more detail.
Beginning with the question why - why should we be taking action on climate change? It is generally accepted that 2 degrees increase in warming is the absolute maximum that is consistent with maintaining a safe climate. [Some think that even 2 degrees warming is too great] World leaders at Copenhagen and at Cancun did agree on one thing - and that was to maintain a safe climate at no more than 2 degrees of warming. Currently the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions is taking us into a climate that would warm the planet beyond 2 degrees - to 4 degrees or more. At 4 degrees or more, impacts become more and more unpredictable and severe for society, the environment and the economy. The purpose of any action on climate change is to keep the climate within a range that is safe for human health, food production, biodiversity and the economy. Please refer to The Critical Decade: Climate science, risks and responses by the Climate Commission at

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