Despite the increased scientific understanding of climate change, and confidence in the science’s conclusions about climate change, public confidence in the science seems to have weakened somewhat in Australia and some other countries since 2008.
That is an extract from Professor Garnaut’s update to his 2008 review.
Professor Garnaut points to the fact that the scientific community is increasingly confident when it comes to the science of climate change. Still many Australians and politicians are not convinced.
Fact: The last decade was the hottest on record.
January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record. Looking back to 1880, when modern scientific instrumentation became available to monitor temperatures precisely, a clear warming trend is present, although there was a levelling off between the 1940s and 1970s.
In the past three decades, the GISS surface temperature record shows an upward trend of about 0.36 degrees F (0.2 degrees C) per decade. In total, average global temperatures have increased by about 1.5 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) since 1880.
Fact: Glaciers are melting.
Lonnie Thompson, a glaciologist at Ohio State University, said there is strong evidence from a variety of sources of significant melting of glaciers - from the area around Kilimanjaro in Africa to the Alps, the Andes, and the icefields of Antarctica because of a warming climate. Ice is also disappearing at a faster rate in recent decades, he said.
Fact: Sea level are rising.
High quality measurements of (near)-global sea level have been made since late 1992 by satellite altimeters, in particular, TOPEX/Poseidon (launched August, 1992), Jason-1 (launched December, 2001) and Jason-2 (launched June, 2008). This data has shown a more-or-less steady increase in Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) of around 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/year over that period. This is more than 50% larger than the average value over the 20th century.
Fact: Ocean acidity is rising.
Ocean Acidification is not a peripheral climate issue, it is the other CO2 challenge. The world's leading marine scientists are warning us that our current rates of carbon emissions are making our oceans more acidic. This is happening so fast that it poses a serious threat to biodiversity and marine life.
Left unchecked, Ocean Acidification could destroy all our coral reefs by as early as 2050. It also has the potential to disrupt other ocean ecosystems, fisheries, habitats, and even entire oceanic food chains.
These are the scientific facts.
But if you believe a politician the world is “more likely to be cooling”.
Senior Liberal Nick Minchin says the globe is more likely to be cooling than warming and has slammed the Government's key climate adviser, Ross Garnaut, as "on the Government's payroll".
During a time of war a leader who wanted to appease the enemy would be called a traitor. It is about time we asked who is paying these people when the scientific evidence is so overwhelming. Whose interests are they supporting?