The aim of this report is to provide up-to-date information on the science of climate change and the implications of this knowledge for societal responses, both for mitigation strategies and for the analysis of and responses to risks that climate change poses for Australia. By contrast to the noisy, confusing 'debate' in the media, within the climate research community our understanding of the climate system continues to advance strongly. The purpose of this update is to review the current scientific knowledge base on climate change, particularly with regard to (i) the underpinning it provides for the formulation of policy and (ii) the information it provides on the risks of a changing climate to Australia.
Chapter 1. Developments in the science of climate change.
Observations of changes in the climate system.
Why is the climate system changing now?
How is the carbon cycle changing?
How certain is our knowledge of climate change?
Chapter 2. Risks associated with a changing climate
The water cycle.
Abrupt, non-linear and irreversible changes in the climate system.
Chapter 3. Implications of the science for emissions reductions.
The budget approach.
Implications for emission reduction trajectories.
Relationship between fossil and biological carbon emissions and uptake.
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