The Critical Decade 2013: Climate Change Science, Risks and Responses

We're a quarter of the way through the Critical Decade for tackling climate change. Many consequences of climate change are already evident, and the risks of further climate change are better understood. It is clear that global society must decarbonise by 2050. This means that most of the fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. What progress has been made, and what still needs to happen? How far are we on the path to adopting solutions to the current and future consequences of climate change? We have the information we need to act now.

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Five Key Facts

  1. Our understanding of the climate system has continued to strengthen
  2. We are already seeing the social, economic and environmental consequences of a changing climate. many of the risks scientists warned us about in the past are now happening.
  3. The changing climate poses substantial risks for health, property, infrastructure, agriculture and natural ecosystems.
  4. One quarter of the way into the Critical decade it is clear: some progress is being made globally to reduce emissions. However, far more will need to be done to stabilise the climate. the decisions we make from now to 2020 will largely determine the severity of climate change our children and grandchildren experience.
  5. Most of the available fossil fuels cannot be burned if we are to stabilise the climate this century.

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