The Australian Academy of Science's comments on the Joint science academies' statement: Climate change adaptation and the transition to a low carbon society
The Australian Academy of Science notes the statement on climate change by the academies of science for the G8+5 countries. Although the Australian Academy was not involved in the drafting of the statement because it is not a member of this group, we do endorse the concerns expressed in the statement. As recently summarised by the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the increases in global average temperature and sea level are unambiguous and are almost certainly primarily due to greenhouse gas emissions.
The Academy notes that there remains considerable uncertainty in the mechanisms of climate change and how it will be manifested at regional and smaller scales at which adaptation measures are required. Substantial deficiencies of understanding require much 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. The Academy also notes that there is a need to examine and develop business models to bring to market the results of research on new technologies that will lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.