Detecting and Responding to Climate Change

The following contribution is based on a talk presented at the Symposium on Natural and Man Made Climate Change of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science in honour of Bert Bolin, in Sigtuna, 21-23 May 2012.  The paper has been submitted for publication in Tellus and is currently under review.


The statistically significant demonstration of the dominant anthropogenic contribution to global warming has contributed significantly to the public acceptance of the reality of climate change. However, the separation between human induced climate change and natural climate variability on the regional scales of greatest relevance for human living conditions is inherently more difficult, Climate mitigation and adaptation policies must therefore necessarily be designed as the response to uncertain risks. Unfortunately, climate policy has stagnated in recent years through the preoccupation with the global financial crisis. Climate scientists can help overcome the current climate policy impasse through the creation of a new generation of simple, actorbased, system-dynamic models that demonstrate the close connection between the stabilization of the global financial system and effective climate policies. Examples are given of alternative stabilzation policies that can lead either to major recessions and unemployment or to stable economic growth supported by an accelerated decarbonization of the economy.


Download the paper:
Detecting and Responding to Climate Change
Klaus Hasselmann Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

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