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9 December update - Highlights from Copenhagen

SMC Alert

9 December update - Highlights from Copenhagen
Day two at Copenhagen saw the release of the WMO's last global temperature data, which suggests the current decade is the warmest on record. But the conference has also been dominated by the appearance of a leaked report dubbed the 'Danish texts'.

According to the Guardian, which published the draft report, the agreement "hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN's role in all future climate change negotiations".

Meanwhile, tonight will see the launch of the ICSU's climate change index, which gives an annual snapshot, expressed as an index, of how the planet's complex systems - the ice, the oceans, the land surface and the atmosphere - are responding to the changing climate.

The SMC has a resource page for media covering Copenhagen available on our website. We also have experts ready to talk on climate science-related issues and comment on the progress of the climate talks. Contact the SMC for details.

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Here are some of the SMC's picks for the third day of COP15:

Available via webcast:

All official meetings and press conferences will be available both live and on-demand via the COP15 webcast here.

09:00 - 09:30: International Council for Science (ICSU) - Climate change index launch
(International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme)
Asger Jorn room

13:00 - 15:00: Selecting the mitigation targets and financing the efforts in 2020 - ensuring a reasonable probability of reaching the 2 degree target in the long term involves selecting either explicitly or implicitly an intermediate global emissions target. Possible emission pathways will be discussed and also what a given target will mean to developed and developing countries.
Room Monnet

13:00 - 14:30: Kiribati: Our road to Copenhagen - We are first in line to face irreversible climate change impacts. Hear how our islands will change in our childrens' lifetimes and our plans to adapt. Learn from this practical experience. Join us and our partners in calling for a meaningful global response.
Liva Weel

3.30pm - 4.30pm: Coral Reefs and Climate Change - the Link between Reef Resilience and Human Well-being. The event will demonstrate the link between reef resilience and human well-being, noting the impacts of climate change on coral reef health and in turn on local communities, livelihoods, food security, and poverty reduction. The panel of international coral reef experts includes Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg from the University of Queensland.

US Pavilion

16:15 - 17:45: Biochar - delivering fast climate benefits? The world's leading experts will discuss the potential of biochar as a fast mitigation measure.
Bellona Room

Updated resources from the AusSMC:

Several new images of conference proceedings have been added to our Flickr web page. These images are free to be used by media (please credit the Australian Science Media Centre). Go to:

Two new video snippets have been added from a press conference held overnight at COP15 involving the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization on the 2009 annual climate statement. Geoff Love (an Australian) from the WMO is also quoted discussing the latest El Nino implications for Australia. To preview the videos, go to the above flickr link.

To download a broadcast quality version, go to and select the file (300+ Mb .avi file) in the video folder. Media is free to download this file (right click and 'save target as').

Note: Powerpoint slides and audio are also available from the AusSMC briefing on the WMO statement held at the Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne today. Go to

An mp3 audio file of Rajendra Pauchari from the IPCC commenting on the 'hacked email' controversy and taking questions from journalists at a side event is now available on our main COP15 page at:

Notes to Editors
The Science Media Centre (SMC) is an independent source of expert comment and information for journalists covering science and technology in New Zealand. Our aim is to promote accurate, bias-free reporting on science and technology by helping the media work more closely with the scientific community. The SMC is an independent centre established by the Royal Society of New Zealand with funding from the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology. The views expressed in this Science Alert are those of the individuals and organisations indicated and do not reflect the views of the SMC or its employees. For further information about the centre, or to offer feedback, please email us at



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