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Forward Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Climate change matters Turning up the heat Why is the present rapid warming happening? Delayed climate responses to greenhouse gas emissions require early action Observed impacts on physical and biological systems Human societies are becoming more vulnerable, not less Projections of future climate change Facing the challenge of preventing dangerous impacts Conclusion: climate change is real, it is happening, and it matters 2. Learning from the past Proxy data: clues from the past The record of the ice ages The causes of past climate change Variations in the Earth's orbit Variations in greenhouse gas concentrations Variations in solar output Volcanoes, cosmic collisions and aerosols Rapid climate changes in the past The last 10 000 years Conclusions from the past record 3. Projecting the future The need for, and nature of, foresight The nature and uses of predictions, scenarios and projections The emissions scenarios used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Projections of socio-economic futures Forecasting the weather: an initial value problem Why climate projections are different How good are climate models? The state of climate projections 4. Uncertainty is inevitable, but risk is certain Despite uncertainties, decisions have to be made Uncertainty in climate change projections Attitudes to uncertainty: from polarisation to probability and risk Estimating risk Uncertainty and the role of sceptics Application of the 'precautionary principle' 5. What climate changes are likely? Projected climate changes Surface warming Regional warmings Precipitation and evaporation Extreme events Sea-level rise Abrupt changes, thresholds and instabilities Scenarios in a nutshell 6. Impacts: Why be concerned? Climate change impacts - reasons for concern The pervasiveness of thresholds and abrupt changes Risks to unique and threatened systems Risks from extreme climate events Distribution of impacts Aggregate impacts Waking the 'sleeping giants': risks of future large-scale discontinuities Effects of a breakdown in the ocean circulation Rapid sea-level rise from melting of Greenland and the WAIS Runaway carbon dynamics Effects of stabilisation at different levels of greenhouse gas concentrations Growing reasons for concern 7. Adaptation: living with climate change Adaptation concepts and strategies Costs and Benefits of Adaptation Implementation Effects of different rates of climatic change on impacts and adaptation: Equity issues in adaptation Enhancing adaptive capacity 8. Mitigation: limiting climate change Why mitigation is necessary How much mitigation is needed? Where we are now How difficult is mitigation? The looming peak in oil production Mitigation options Increased energy efficiency Fuel substitution Nuclear power Hydropower Solar energy Wind power Biomass energy Tidal, wave and geothermal energy The hydrogen economy Carbon capture and sequestration Changes in infrastructure and behaviour Technological innovation: why attitude is vital Overcoming barriers to innovation: the road to effective mitigation 9. Climate change in context Surface air pollution and climate change Stratospheric ozone depletion Biodiversity, agriculture and forestry Land degradation and desertification Freshwater Population growth Synergies and trade-offs from emissions reductions Integration, sustainable development and equity 10. The politics of greenhouse Is the science credible? What about the uncertainty? How realistic are the scenarios? What global and local emissions targets should we choose? How urgently do we need to act? How much will reducing emissions cost? How can these targets be met most efficiently? Carbon emissions permits, carbon taxes and innovation International equity: what is fair? How do we provide for equity within countries? Should we consider equity between generations ? What role should democratic governments and non-government organisations (NGOs) take? What role should business take? What role can state and local governments play? So what is the politics of greenhouse all about? 11. International concern and national interests A brief history of concern about greenhouse gases The Kyoto Protocol National interests and the challenge of climate change African Nations Australia and New Zealand China European Union India, Pakistan and Bangladesh Latin America The Russian Federation Small Island States United States of America Finding a Common Interest in Global Solutions 12. Accepting the challenge looking beyond the Kyoto Protocol Addressing the Key Issues Further information Introduction Bibliography/reading list Web sites Index
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