September 28, 2013
The IPPC report is basically yet more evidence demonstrating the extent of global temperature rises, the melting of ice sheets and sea ice, the retreat of the glaciers, the rising and acidification of the oceans and the changes in weather patterns. It is the first sliver of a vast body of work on climate change that’ll be published this year and in 2014--the so-called fifth assessment report (AR5), which focuses on the scientific evidence behind climate change and the human role in it.
The report concludes that there is a 50-50 chance that global temperatures will exceed 4C this century if carbon emissions are not curbed. Without "substantial and sustained" reductions in greenhouse gas emissions we will breach the symbolic threshold of 2C of warming.
To hold warming to 2C, total emissions cannot exceed 1,000 gigatons of carbon. Yet by 2011, more than half of that total "allowance" – 531 gigatons – had already been emitted.To ensure the budget is not exceeded, governments and businesses may have to leave valuable fossil fuel reserves unexploited because there's a finite amount of carbon you can burn if you don't want to go over 2C.
Australia is going to be badly hit according to Oliver Milman, whose summary of what the report says, states:
Australia is expected to experience a 6C average temperature rise on its hottest days and lose many reptile, bird and mammal species as well as the renowned wetlands of Kakadu by the end of the century, the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report reveals.IPCC figures show that Australia will experience an average overall increase of 2C by 2065, with that figure slightly lower at the coast. Beyond that, the temperature is expected to rise another 3C-4C by 2100. The number of days that don't fall below 20C is projected to rise to 100 a year, with most of these warmer days in the north and on the east coast.
Rainfall patterns are set to change, with annual precipitation, humidity and cloud cover predicted to decrease over most of Australia. But for north Australia and many agricultural areas, rainfall is predicted to get heavier. Soil moisture will decrease, mostly in the south of the country.
The Coalition government will say that its direct action plan is doing something to avert the scenario the panel foresees, but it will continue to actively promoting the fossil fuel industries industries that cause it.