Climate Change – an update of the science and possible impacts
Date: Wednesday 21 March 2018
Time: 10.00am – 12.00pm
Venue: Cromwell Town and Country Club
This talk will examine the underlying science that has led to a widespread international consensus that something must be done to prevent “dangerous” climate change. The Paris climate accord is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The Agreement aims to respond to the global climate change threat by keeping a global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Key questions to be considered are: How does the climate system work? Why are greenhouse gases so critical? How is the climate changing? What will happen in the future if human-induced warming continues? What will be the impacts of these changes? How, where and when will we become vulnerable? What can we do to deal with this problem?
Blair will attempt to answer these questions by drawing on his long experience working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He will also comment on the outlook for Australia and New Zealand, including Central Otago. Most systems and areas already have a coping range to existing climate variability. But as climate
continues to change, this range may be exceeded. Without further adaptation they will become vulnerable.
Vulnerability is likely to be high in sectors such as natural ecosystems (low adaptive capacity and subject to habitat loss), coastal communities (affected by sea-level rise,
larger storm surges, and other stresses such as ongoing population growth and coastal development), and water resources (drier conditions, ongoing development of
substantial infrastructure, economic growth, and more intensive agriculture all creating increased water shortages).
Blair Fitzharris is Emeritus Professor at the University of Otago. He has undertaken research on climate change in NZ, Canada, Norway, UK, Switzerland and Australia and has written over 150 research publications on the subjects of climate, snow and glaciers. He is also a consultant, with 35 years of experience on climate matters related to resource development, mining, farming and horticulture, energy (including hydro and wind power), and topoclimate mapping to better define the climate resource. He has a lifetime of experience with Central Otago.
Professor Fitzharris has been a Convening Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for four major Assessment Reports from 1993 to 2007. He was also a Review Editor for the IPCC’s most recent Report (Fifth Assessment Report) published in 2014. Blair is a past member of Antarctica New Zealand’s Research Committee and of the Royal Society of NZ Standing Committee on Climate Change. He is a former President of the Meteorological Society of NZ and former Chair of the NZ Mountain Safety Council.
To book: phone 0800 267-327 or (03)448-6115 or email@example.com