Over the past two or three years, the science of climate change has become a more widely contested issue in the public and political spheres. Climate science is now being debated outside of the normal discussion and debate that occurs within the peer-reviewed scientific literature in the normal course of research. It is being attacked in the media by many with no credentials in the field. The questioning of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the “climategate” incident based on hacked emails in the UK, and attempts to intimidate climate scientists have added to the confusion in the public about the veracity of climate science.
The purpose of this update is to review the current scientific knowledge base on climate change, particularly with regard to (i) the underpinning it provides for the formulation of policy and (ii) the information it provides on the risks of a changing climate to Australia. (Source: Climate Commission (2011): The Critical Decade: Climate Science, Risks and Responses.)