3 Tips for Improving Your Physical Fitness, When You're Starting from a Pretty Bad Place

Fitness is one of the most important things in life for overall health and wellness – and maintaining a regular fitness routine has all sorts of potential benefits, ranging from better medical outco...

News Company - avatar News Company

Top 5 Events to Enjoy in the United Kingdom Every Year

The United Kingdom as any country holds numerous engaging festivals throughout the year. What makes the UK offer to stand out from the rest is their exciting travel landmarks and cities that nearly ...

Goran Kezić - avatar Goran Kezić

Friday essay: YouTube apologies and reality TV revelations - the rise of the public confession

A little over a year ago, former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith made a tearful confession and apology to the public, having been banned from cricket for 12 months for ball tampering. Smith&rsq...

Kate Douglas, Professor, Flinders University - avatar Kate Douglas, Professor, Flinders University

Population DNA testing for disease risk is coming. Here are five things to know

Screening millions of healthy people for their risk of disease can be cost-effective. But it raises ethical and regulatory concerns.from www.shutterstock.comDNA testing to predict disease risk has the...

Paul Lacaze, Head, Public Health Genomics Program, Monash University - avatar Paul Lacaze, Head, Public Health Genomics Program, Monash University

Why Sydney residents use 30% more water per day than Melburnians

Melbourne's water supplies are running low after years of drought.shutterstockThis week Melbourne’s water storage dropped below 50%, a sign of the prolonged and deepening drought gripping easter...

Ian Wright, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, Western Sydney University - avatar Ian Wright, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, Western Sydney University

From gun control to HIV: six ingredients of successful public policy

Australia’s national policy response to HIV/AIDS has been lauded as one of the best in the world.ShutterstockIn the lead up to the recent federal election, there was plenty of negative rhetoric ...

Joannah Luetjens, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University - avatar Joannah Luetjens, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University

How the dangerous evolution of Pakistan’s national security state threatens domestic stability

Protests followed the terrorist attack that killed more than 40 Indian military personnel in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. AAP/Jaipal Singh, CC BY-NDIn February, a terrorist attack by Jaysh...

Robert G. Patman, Professor of International Relations, University of Otago - avatar Robert G. Patman, Professor of International Relations, University of Otago

Taming wild cities: the tall buildings of Australia show why we need strong design guidelines

Towering canyons of concrete and glass are an increasingly dominant feature of fast-growing cities like Melbourne.ymgerman/ShutterstockPrivate enterprise has shaped the skylines of Australia’s c...

Timothy Moore, PhD Candidate, Melbourne School of Design, Monash University - avatar Timothy Moore, PhD Candidate, Melbourne School of Design, Monash University

Let them play! Kids need freedom from play restrictions to develop

Playing in nature improves children's learning, social and emotional skills.MI PHAM/unsplashYou may have heard of play. It’s that thing children do – the diverse range of unstructured, spo...

Brendon Hyndman, Senior Lecturer and Course Director (Postgraduate Education courses), Charles Sturt University - avatar Brendon Hyndman, Senior Lecturer and Course Director (Postgraduate Education courses), Charles Sturt University

If you think less immigration will solve Australia's problems, you're wrong; but neither will more

More by luck than design, recent recent levels of immigration seem to be in a 'goldilocks zone' that balances economic, social and environmental objectives.www.shutterstock.comAre we letting too many ...

Cameron Allen, Researcher, UNSW - avatar Cameron Allen, Researcher, UNSW

Gamers use machine learning to navigate complex video games – but it's not free

Playing Dota 2? You can do better with a little help from machine learning.Shutterstock/hkhtt hj Some of the world’s most popular video games track your activity as you play – but they&rsq...

Ben Egliston, PhD candidate in Media and Communications, University of Sydney - avatar Ben Egliston, PhD candidate in Media and Communications, University of Sydney

Grattan on Friday: Shocked Labor moves on – but to what policy destination?

Bill Shorten has said he likes doing the family shopping, nevertheless Tuesday’s front page picture in The Australian did capture the savagery of changing political fortunes. There was Shorten, ...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Narendra Modi has won the largest election in the world. What will this mean for India?

Narendra Modi's image was ubiquitous on the campaign trail – a sign of how much Indians have gravitated toward his cult of personality and nationalist rhetoric.Harish Tyagi/AAP The resounding vi...

Amitabh Mattoo, Honorary Professor of International Relations, University of Melbourne - avatar Amitabh Mattoo, Honorary Professor of International Relations, University of Melbourne

Inside the story: the ABC of screenwriting as demonstrated by ABC's The Heights

Roz Hammond as Claudia in The Heights.Bohdan Warchomij/ABCWhy do we tell stories, and how are they crafted? In this series, we unpick the work of the writer on both page and screen.The rule of three i...

Philippa Burne, Lecturer, BFA Screenwriting, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, University of Melbourne - avatar Philippa Burne, Lecturer, BFA Screenwriting, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, University of Melbourne

imageMembers of the public photograph an ice art installation outside the Copenhagen building where the IPCC met to finalise its latest report.EPA/Soeren Bidstrup/AAP

Members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say they are confident their latest report, released in Copenhagen today, will help give politicians the impetus to commit to the deep emissions cuts needed to meet the world’s goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees.

Jim Skea, a vice-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group 3, which deals with measures to mitigate climate change, described the new Synthesis Report as “the most important report the IPCC has ever produced”, given that it will inform negotiations at next year’s United Nations climate talks in Paris.

The report sums up the the key messages from the three larger IPCC reports released since September last year, which together form its landmark Fifth Assessment Report.

It reiterates that climate warming is “unequivocal”, points out that atmospheric greenhouse gases are now at their highest levels for 800,000 years, and says human activity is “extremely likely” to be the dominant cause of the warming since the mid-20th century.

“I don’t think politicians will have the excuse that they haven’t heard the evidence,” Professor Skea said.

The report concludes that emissions need to fall by 40-70% by 2050 if the world is to give itself a good chance of staying within the 2C limit. European Union leaders recently pledged to cut emissions by 40% by 2030.

More than half of the world’s current emissions are now covered by formal climate policies, Prof Skea said.

“The question is how quickly we get on with the job. It’s not the job of the IPCC to make recommendations and tell policy-makers what to do, but what the report does identify is big advantages from early action. The more quickly we get on with reducing emissions, the fewer will be the kind of really difficult impacts that we have to deal with,” he said.

His views were echoed by IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri, who said in a statement: “We have the means to limit climate change. The solutions are many and allow for continued economic and human development. All we need is the will to change, which we trust will be motivated by knowledge and an understanding of the science of climate change.”

Bureau of Meteorology researcher Scott Power, a lead author on the IPCC’s Working Group 1, which covers the science of climate change, said that the world has already used up around three-quarters of its total “carbon budget”. World emissions are now at their highest ever level, and are still growing by 2.2%.

Total emissions since the Industrial Revolution are around 600 gigatonnes of carbon, he said. If we let them go past around 800 gigatonnes, it would “lock in” warming of more than 2C. “That would increase the likelihood of severe and pervasive impacts,” he said.

CSIRO oceanographer John Church, also a Working Group 1 lead author, said the report underlines the dangers of unchecked warming, which will include increased heatwaves and bushfire risk, coral bleaching, and sea-level rise.

But he said the report also sounds a note of optimism about the measures we can take to cut emissions, including improving energy efficiency and embracing renewable energy, and that there is scope for emissions to be cut rapidly. “There is some low-hanging fruit,” he said.

“But the longer we leave it, the harder it gets – that’s very clear, and we’ve already missed opportunities. There isn’t a specific ‘drop-dead’ date; it just becomes harder to hit specific targets, and we would have to invest more to meet those targets.

One of those missed opportunities was the 2009 UN summit in Copenhagen, which reached only a non-binding accord on actions to cut emissions. But many IPCC members have faith that next year’s Paris negotiations can deliver a more meaningful outcome.

“Maybe our expectations were unrealistically high. I think expectations are beginning to rise again, but probably they are more realistic … than they were at Copenhagen. We have to be optimistic,” Dr Church said.

The IPCC is set to review its current strategy of producing large reports every few years, amid some criticism that the approach is unwieldy.

Dr Church said it “would be great to be more nimble”, but added that the process is unlikely to undergo significant changes because the time and effort taken to compile comprehensive IPCC reports makes them “the most robust information available”.

image

Read more http://theconversation.com/ipccs-most-important-report-sets-stage-for-paris-climate-talks-33713