Human influences on the climate system
15 October 2013
South Bank campus, Brisbane
Summary - The latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were reviewed and discussed. The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on the physical science of climate change was released on 27 September 2013. In that report the evidence for human influence on the climate system is presented. Human influence has been detected in the major components of the climate system. The combined evidence increases the level of confidence in the attribution of observed climate change, and reduces the uncertainties associated with assessment based on a single climate variable. From this combined evidence it is virtually certain that human influence has warmed the global climate system and, that for some variables, human influence is extremely likely to be responsible for more than half the observed changes. Human influence has been identified in changes in temperature near the surface of the earth, in the atmosphere and in the oceans, as well as changes in the cryosphere, the water cycle and some extremes . The alternative explanation for the observed changes for the period since 1950 is also assessed in the Report. It concludes that there is strong evidence that excludes solar forcing, volcanoes, and internal variability as the strongest drivers of warming since 1950. Some of the best evidence for water cycle changes comes from the oceans. The combined evidence from the atmosphere and oceans of observed systematic changes conclude that it is likely that human influence has affected the global water cycle since 1960. This presentation will also address some of the remaining gaps in our understanding of the human influences on the climate system.
Speaker - Professor Nathan Bindoff (University of Tasmania), leading coordinating lead author for chapter 10, "Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional", IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.
* Video (You Tube)
* Audio and slides