4.6 SEB323 Environment #6 25-Sep-09

4.6 SEB323 Environment #6 25-Sep-09 - For the last lecture...

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For the last lecture in this topic we’ll look briefly at the issue of climate change. Climate Change will not be on the exam – so there is no need to revise what we cover in these notes. 1
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Climate change. Let’s briefly look at what it is, what causes it, and what the current status of actions to reduce or prevent it are. 2
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The planet’s surface (land and water) and air temperatures are increasing. Although the temperature increases may seem minor (a few degrees over a number of years) it is important to consider that the Earth is a complex nonlinear dynamic system and so minor variations in parameters can cause significant (and nonlinear) effects on the system. As well as the mean temperature increases, there is also a trend toward increased variance – so extreme temperature and climate conditions are being experienced as well. 3
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The IPCC is the default international source of authoritative scientific data and analyses on global climate change. It is important to consider that the IPCC’s role is really as a collator and publisher of climate change related data since it does not itself conduct research. 4
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The IPCC is resourced and supported by participating nations (including Australia) on a voluntary basis. It is a scientific advisory organisation and so any reports and recommendations it issues are non-binding. But significantly, many nations (including Australia) use the IPCC’s work as a key input to the development of national (and international) policies that seek to address the issue of climate change. 5
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The next revision of these reports is due for completion and publication by the end of 2014. All of these reports are readily available online from the IPCC’s website. 6
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The model used by the IPCC to examine the interaction between activities of the human species on this planet and the climate is shown here. It is interesting to consider that a key foundation of the model is that the human species, and its activities and impacts, is somewhat isolated from the rest of the global ecosystem. This is also a principle underlying sustainability – that we analyse the activities and impact of the human species on this planet as being “unnatural” compared to all other activities and impacts from all other living organisms that exist on this planet activities and impacts from all other living organisms that exist on this planet. 7
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The current Federal Government accepts the IPCC position on climate change and states that its policies and subsequent legislation regarding the reduction of climate change causing emissions and mitigation and adaption required due to climate change will be in line with international efforts.
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This note was uploaded on 09/27/2009 for the course SEB 323 - S taught by Professor Professor during the Three '09 term at Deakin.

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4.6 SEB323 Environment #6 25-Sep-09 - For the last lecture...

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