Oceans, Ice & Climate Change: An IPCC Update

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Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre

Churchill Avenue, Sandy Bay campus

Hobart, TAS 7000

Australia

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Two Tasmanian authors of the UN report on oceans and climate change discuss the implications for Australia and its surrounds.

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In September 2019 the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). The report assesses the physical processes and impacts of climate change on ocean, coastal, polar and mountain ecosystems. It also assesses the consequences for human communities, and the options for people to adapt to climate-related changes for a more sustainable future.

This presentation will summarise and highlight the significance of key findings from this report for the oceans and polar regions, and for Australia. Nathan Bindoff was a coordinating lead author for the oceans chapter of the report, and a drafting author on the report’s Summary for Policy Makers. Jess Melbourne-Thomas was a lead author on the report’s polar regions chapter and a contributing author on its summary.

Professor Nathan Bindoff is one of the world's leading climate change scientists and a physical oceanographer. Prof Bindoff has been studying signals of change in the ocean, like oxygen levels, temperature and salinity, from measurements from the 1970s to the present. His focus is on detecting and understanding the causes of change in the oceans. As well as in 2019, he was the coordinating lead author for the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports from the IPCC. He led the oceans chapter (2007) and the detection and attribution chapter (2013), contributing to the IPCC winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, shared with Al Gore. Professor Bindoff and his colleagues developed the famous statement: 'Global warming is unequivocal.'

Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas grew up exploring Tasmania’s coastline and wilderness, and has gone on to work in the marine environment from the tropics to the poles. With a background in mathematical modelling and Antarctic climate change science, Jess is now a Knowledge Broker for the CSIRO, helping to bridge the gap between complex scientific research and decision-making for sustainability. A passionate advocate for diversity and gender equality in science, Jess co-founded the Homeward Bound project, which took the largest ever all-female expedition on a leadership journey to Antarctica in 2016. She was one of Australia’s first 30 Superstars of STEM and was named Tasmania's Young Tall Poppy of the Year in 2015 for her excellence in research, science communication and policy engagement. Jess was one of 12 female scientists globally to have her portrait featured as a constellation on the ceiling of New York’s Grand Central Station as part of GE’s Balance the Equation campaign. Jess was Tasmania’s Australian of the Year in 2020.

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Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre

Churchill Avenue, Sandy Bay campus

Hobart, TAS 7000

Australia

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