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Keynote presentation

Climate Change 2013: Challenges to Science and Policy

Will Steffen, The Australian National University and the Climate Commission

Climate change has become a contentious political issue in Australia and many other countries around the world, and science continues to play a central role in informing and challenging policy development. In the run-up to the release of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (Working Group I) later this year, a number of policy-relevant science issues have come to the fore in policy discussions.

Three of these are:

  1. equilibrium climate sensitivity, or perhaps more appropriately “transient climate response” based on analyses of recent atmospheric temperature trends,
  2. the rate a which sea level may rise through this century and beyond and the uncertainties surrounding these estimates, especially those related to the behaviour of the large polar ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica; and
  3. the “carbon bubble” - the implications for the climate system of the increasing amount of fossil fuel reserves that are proposed to be burnt over the coming decades.

This talk will briefly canvas these issues from a contemporary perspective of the science-policy interface, but will be point towards the insights that could be gained by exploring evidence from past changes in the climate.

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Key dates

  • 11th June 2013
    Registrations close
  • 21st June 2013
    Registrations at the AAD open for staff
  • 24th June 2013
    Registrations at the venue open
  • 24th June 2013
    Conference commences
  • 26th June 2013
    Conference concludes

More key dates…

This page was last modified on 17 June 2013.