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East Timor is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and Australia has a moral and historical obligation to help, a University of Melbourne study has found.

Scientific study resubmitted.
An issue was identified in the manuscript "Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium" by Joelle Gergis, Raphael Neukom, Ailie Gallant and David Karoly, published in the Journal of Climate on 17 May 2012. The manuscript was re-submitted to the Journal of Climate and reviewed again. The authors have repeated the original analysis using three additional methods to assess the influence of different statistical techniques on the original results.  The revised manuscript is still under review by the Journal of Climate.

The original results have been reproduced by an independent team of scientists using three different analysis methods and the results were published in Nature Geosciences in April 2013 as part of an international study coordinated by the Past Global Changes (PAGES) Regional 2k initiative.


By using decades of vineyard records, scientists have for the first time been able to attribute early ripening of wine grapes to climate warming and declines in soil water content. The study reveals that management factors have also influenced the shift, offering hope for growers to develop adaptation strategies.

Climate scientists say the world’s target to stay below a global warming of 2 degrees, made at the United Nations conference in Copenhagen in 2009 and Cancun 2010 will require decisive action this decade.

Distinguished economist and University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor’s Fellow Professor Ross Garnaut will discuss the key findings in his final report on climate change at a free lecture tomorrow night.

A price on carbon is back on the agenda following yesterday's announcement of a minority Gillard Government says Dr Peter Christoff of the Department of Resource Management and Geography at University of Melbourne, but an emissions trading scheme like the one pushed by Labor in its first term is unlikley.

“In securing Greens' support in the lower house, Labor agreed to the formation of a Climate Change Committee of experts and parliamentarians, to consider the issue of a carbon price. Its composition, mandate and timing are yet to be determined, but the three independents and the Green supporting Labor in the lower house will certainly hasten its work,” Dr Christoff says.

“However Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor both opposed the CPRS last year. Meanwhile, the Greens proposed an interim levy but rejected an emissions trading scheme - or any other measure - that rewards or exempts big polluters.”

“So an interim carbon levy, or an emissions scheme which excludes major compensation for big polluters, is now likely - especially once the Greens gain the casting vote in the Senate from the middle of next year," he says. 

The following text comes from the 2010 Hamer Oration held at the University of Melbourne on Thursday August 5, 2010.  The speech was given by Professor Ross Garnaut, a Vice Chancellor's Fellow and Professorial Fellow in Economics at the University. 

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have teamed up with the Sustainable Agriculture Fund (SAF) to tackle the challenges the Australian farming industry will face in maintaining productivity under a changing climate.

An international workshop to reconstruct climate change history in the Australasian region is being held this week at the University of Melbourne on Monday 31 May to Wednesday 2 June 2010

Australia must do - and more importantly, be seen to do - its bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by transport, says Professor Nicholas Low, Director of the University of Melbourne-based Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport (GAMUT).

Speaking ahead of an international conference organised by GAMUT on "Sustainable Transport in the Asia-Indo-Pacific", Professor Low says Australia needs to work harder to move transport planning in the right direction.

"Australia needs to reduce its emissions by a factor of 18 to bring it back to parity with the rest of the world."

"There's no doubt everyone has the same right to mobility, but they thus have the same responsibility to minimise carbon emissions."

"We know India and China want greater mobility and they have the right to it, but this will have consequences not just for climate change but also the future of their own cities."

"I'm not sure whether Australia is yet in a position to lead China and India with regards to transport planning, but it cannot afford to lag behind either."

"The question is, how can we move away from the current, disjointed transport system - buses running for bus customers, trams for tram customers etc - to a system where people are mobility customers, who want a system that serves their mobility needs in the best possible way, and doesn't destroy the city in the process."

Professor Low says one of the issues for Australia is its lack of strong planning systems.  "I think we have to address transport alongside land use planning, but we can't expect land use planning by itself to save us from our transport defects."

"We have to learn to provide better, more integrated transport in the low density cities that we have, much like Europe has."