60 Second summary of how climate change works. Royal Society clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=75&v=n4e5UPu1co0 For more depth see #2 below
Reviewing the climate change numbers
#1 Our climate is changing as the proportion of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere increases. James Hansen, ex-NASA scientist, says that if we wish to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, CO2 levels of 350 parts per million is the safety zone. The planet has 392 parts per million of CO2. And this number is rising by about 2 ppm every year.
#2 Yes, there is some disagreement on climate change, but not much – a ten year study of scientific literature found that 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article).
Our own Victoria university Climate scientist visit the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjZlc3BhaXE . The last 10 minutes of this stresses some action options, and highlights that December this year in Paris at the United Nations Climate Change Conference is a golden opportunity for taking a stand. What can the NZ public do to ensure they can be a strong voice at this forum ?
#4 Despite the global community’s awareness of the importance of keeping global warming below a 2°C increase above pre-industrial climate, countries’ current emission pledges and commitments don’t reflect this. The World Bank tells us the commitments and pledges stemming from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change would most likely result in 3.5 to 4°C warming. And the longer those pledges remain unmet, the more likely a 4°C world becomes.
“A 4°C world is so different from the current one that it comes with high uncertainty and new risks that threaten our ability to anticipate and plan for future adaptation needs”. (Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 Degree Warmer World Must Be Avoided, World Bank, 2012)
#5 New Zealand recently committed to reducing its 2020 emissions to 5% below 1990 levels, or providing carbon credits to make up the difference. In October however, the Sustainability Council of New Zealand announced that New Zealand is expected to overshoot their target by 33% as CO2 emissions continue to grow. They said, “The overall effect is to put much of the cost of today’s excess emissions on tomorrow’s taxpayers.”