Australian scientists call for urgent action to limit climate change

2 November 2021

he Australian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society (AMOS) today released its position statement on climate change—a summary of the key issues on human-induced climate change, and the uncertain future we now face as the world warms. As COP26 gets underway, AMOS scientists call for Australia to decarbonise by 2050.

The AMOS membership includes some of the world’s leading weather, climate, oceans, and energy scientists. AMOS Vice-President, Deputy Director of the Monash Energy Institute, and energy systems expert Dr Roger Dargaville said to avoid the most dangerous extremes of climate change, the world needs to limit warming to less than 2°C—and as close to 1.5°C as possible.

“To achieve this, we need to reduce energy-related carbon emissions to zero well before 2050,” Dr Dargaville said.

The position statement outlines Australia’s changing climate in terms of increased temperatures (on land and in the ocean), sea-level rise and less rainfall. 

The statement says, “any delay in reducing emissions will increase the practical and economic costs of avoiding dangerous climate change and place a greater burden on future generations to adapt to higher levels of warming.” It ends by warning we can no longer avoid climate change—we have to adapt.

Climate scientist Professor Nerilie Abram is based at the Australian National University and is also the Deputy Director of the Australian Centre for Antarctic Science (ACEAS). She said every fraction of a degree of additional warming matters. 

“At 1.1°C of global warming we are already seeing the dangerous impacts of climate change through heatwaves, extreme rain, drought, and wildfires,” Prof Abram said. 

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