Matthew England will talk about climate models this Sunday 23rd August in the Powerhouse Museum as part of the Ultimo Science Festival. The press release says:
Climate modeller challenges skeptics
With the Government’s emissions trading legislation now delayed, one of Australia’s leading climate scientists, UNSW Professor Matthew England has thrown down the gauntlet to climate skeptics to update their thinking.
“Those that deny basic climate science question climate modelling and fundamental climate physics. But each of their arguments is wrong, outdated, or irrelevant. Most of their claims have long been refuted by the scientific community, the national academies, and so on. Others need no refuting: they fly in the face of basic geophysical measurements, or they are so appallingly wrong they go against simple high-school physics,” England says.
The award-winning oceanographer, who is co-director of UNSW’s Climate Change Research Centre, will discuss the whys and wherefores of climate modelling and provide the most up-to-date climate predictions out to the year 2100 (since the IPCC report of 2007), at the Ultimo Science Festival on Sunday.
“This talk will show the step by step of how the models work, how they have evolved over the past 50 years, where they can be trusted, and what their uncertainties are. I will also address many of the skeptics’ claims and show why they are wrong,” England says.
But the latest research is not a pretty prediction, according to England.
“We need a fairly dramatic change in the way we power this planet, away from the old carbon-intensive technologies and into a new era of clean energy. We need to do this very quickly to give us any chance of staying below a net 2 degrees Celsius global average warming.
“Alarmingly, even at that level of warming we will lose most of the world’s coral reefs and around 20 to 30 per cent of species will face potential extinction. The Greenland ice sheet is likely to disintegrate completely if we warm in excess of 2.5 degrees C, that’s a seven-metre sealevel rise” he says.
England says we have already emitted half the greenhouse gases we can if we are to have a reasonable chance of staying below a net 2 degrees Celsius global average warming.
“Every year that there is inaction, this locks in a greater level of climate change. Climate change is now unavoidable, but we can determine, to some extent, what level of change we are prepared to commit to,” says England. “If we care about minimising the impact on heat extremes, bushfires, human health, our ecosystems and our capacity to produce food and have a secure freshwater supply, greenhouse gas emissions need to peak in the next decade and then decline rapidly.”