Australian Academy of Science

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Old Rocks, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Australia has recently experianced both catastrophic fires and major flooding at the same time in differant parts of the continent. There are very few in Australia that doubt the fact of global warming causing climate change

    Introduction

    The Australian Academy of Science, in a statement on climate change on 1 July 2008 (AAS-Global warming and climate change), endorsed the findings in the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC that ‘the increases in global average temperature and sea level are unambiguous and are almost certainly primarily due to greenhouse gas emissions’.

    However, the scientific knowledge underlying climate change is not complete and the Academy notes that there remains considerable uncertainty in important mechanisms such as ice sheet dynamics. In particular there is uncertainty in how climate change will be manifested at regional and smaller scales at which adaptation measures are required. To overcome the substantial deficiencies of understanding in how global warming will impact regional and local scales requires more research on basic greenhouse science, including the Earth's radiation balance, fluid dynamics of the atmosphere and ocean, the role and importance of the hydrological cycle in amplifying the greenhouse effect, and atmospheric carbon dioxide exchange with the biosphere and oceans. Other areas can be added.

    There is nevertheless general acceptance of the need for both mitigation actions to reduce further greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to continuing change. This consensus should not cause us to lose sight of the requirement for Australian and international research efforts to better understand the contributions from different climate change processes.

    Investing in climate change science

    The Australian Academy of Science strongly supports the G8+5 call for increased national investment in the science of climate change, with an emphasis on making systematic observations together with basic and applied research. In particular there is a need for research on regional forecasts, and a need to strengthen the associated observation program. The research on regional forecasts needs to include investigation of the ‘skill’ of forecasting, that is how well the forecasts compare with observations. Such tests can be made with ‘hindcasts’, for example by predicting climate development in the 20th century from an initial state at, say, 1900. More fundamentally, there is a need to examine the limits to which reliable regional forecasts are possible.

    This research needs to be part of a collaborative national program within the international framework. This can reduce the uncertainties in our understanding of climate change processes, particularly of how global change impacts on local conditions. The program must include:

    greatly enhanced climate observing capability across the region;
    significant strengthening of Australian capabilities in theoretical analysis and modelling of the climate system;
    independent predictive climate models appropriate for Australian conditions that are accessible to and well understood by the Australian research community;
    advanced data handling with the necessary supercomputing facilities;
    training for the next generation of climate scientists; and
    effective linkages with the international programs.
    Out-of-date observation systems need updating

    The Australian systems for observing, monitoring and modelling climate systems, principally through the facilities of the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and the CSIRO, require significant upgrading and expansion. Many of the present observing systems were originally set up for different purposes. With increasing demands for improved data resolution and quality, and with new technologies becoming available, a creaking system needs major upgrades. These include improved monitoring of:

    the hydrological balance across the continent and water stored in vegetation and soils;
    changes in land use and forestry;
    spatial variation in carbon dioxide levels over the continent to identify sources and sinks;
    solar and longwave radiation fluxes;
    heat, melt water and carbon dioxide changes in the ocean, particularly the Southern Ocean,
    long-term changes in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems; and
    the dynamics of the sea ice and the continental ice of Antarctica. AAS-Global warming and climate change
     
  2. FactFinder
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    I agree with their following statement.

    Investing in climate change science

    The Australian Academy of Science strongly supports the G8+5 call for increased national investment in the science of climate change, with an emphasis on making systematic observations together with basic and applied research. In particular there is a need for research on regional forecasts, and a need to strengthen the associated observation program. The research on regional forecasts needs to include investigation of the ‘skill’ of forecasting, that is how well the forecasts compare with observations. Such tests can be made with ‘hindcasts’, for example by predicting climate development in the 20th century from an initial state at, say, 1900. More fundamentally, there is a need to examine the limits to which reliable regional forecasts are possible.


    We need much more research and reliable research before we can confidently make any policy decisions. This strengthens my position that the science as is is UNSETTLED!
     
  3. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    No the science is not unsettled. We know that we are having a major affect on the climate, we just don't know how much or the time frame for the changes that we are initiating.
     
  4. FactFinder
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    Numerous sources cited on these threads contradict that statement and you know it. AGW is unsttled and the alarmists are not even honest enough to admit that it may be undersea volcanoes that cause Arctic and Antarctic melting.
     
  5. Sinatra
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    Sinatra Senior Member

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    First, this report appears based upon July 2008, yes?

    Second, could you not simply read it as, "Hey this is a HUGE problem folks, so please send more funding for our Academy of Science please! Thank you!"

    As one who has worked within the goofy world of publish n perish, this type of play is done all the time.

    The problem is, when one such as Steig gets caught cooking the data, it does tend to snap back against the department and the school, and funding can constrict in the short term. Media reports are still utilizing Steig's false data though, so eventually, as is often the case, the lie becomes the truth.
     

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