The Evidence is Mounting: CSIRO/BOM Report – ‘State of the Climate 2012’

BY BEN HABIB.

The report ‘State of the Climate 2012’ released this week by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology makes for sobering reading, concurring with numerous other scientific reports published by independent researchers and expert organisations from numerous disciplines around the world about the dangerous trajectory of human-induced climate change.

The report also demonstrates how Australia’s wet summers of the past two years fit within a clear long-term global warming trend.

Because of this long-term warming trend, the world’s oceans are heating up and turbo-charging the hydrological cycle through increased evaporation.  What we are now beginning to see are enhanced El Niño and La Niña events, more frequent and extreme storms, and unseasonal weather.

The symptoms of these trends are evident around the world.  While much of Australia has endured back to back wet summers, other parts of the world have suffered unprecedented extreme weather events, including unprecedented drought in the southwestern United States and the recent extreme cold snap over Europe that saw the canals of Venice freeze over.

The attempts of climate deniers to discredit climate science look increasingly foolish and even deceitful in the face of such a robust body of expert evidence, along with the growing human and economic cost of more frequent and severe natural disasters.

It would be prudent for politicians, public servants and members of the business community to reduce their risk of exposure and take measures to adapt to our increasingly chaotic climate system.

***NOTE: A version of this posting was published as a letter to the editor under the unfortunately over-simplified title ‘Warm seas froze canals‘ in the Border Mail, Saturday 24th March, 2012.

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Dr. Benjamin Habib is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga. Ben is an internationally published researcher with interests including North Korea’s motivations for nuclear proliferation, East Asian security, international politics of climate change, and undergraduate teaching pedagogy. He also teaches in Australian politics and the international relations of the Middle East.  Ben undertook his PhD candidature at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, and has worked previously for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.  He has spent time teaching English in Dandong, China, and has also studied at Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea.  Ben is involved with local community groups Wodonga and Albury Toward Climate Health (WATCH) and Transition Albury-Wodonga.

Ben welcomes constructive feedback.  Please comment below, or contact Ben at b.habib@latrobe.edu.au.

 The views in this story are those of the author and not necessarily those of Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga.

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