COP15 update – Climate index, coral reefs and the Danish texts

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. For a copy of the index (embargoed to 9pm, Wed Dec 9) contact the SMC.

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.

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:  For any specific photo requests, particularly with a science angle, email, phone the AusSMC on (+61 8) 7120 8666 or you can try Nigel’s mobile in Copenhagen: (+45) 2660 7655.

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’). If you are having problems downloading from our ftp site, please let us know by emailing

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:

If you are in Copenhagen and require assistance tracking down an expert, contact the AusSMC’s Nigel Kerby on (+45) 2660 7655 (Danish mobile) or email

Further Information
To talk to any of the experts quoted above contact the Science Media Centre on tel: 04 499 5476 or email:

One thought on “COP15 update – Climate index, coral reefs and the Danish texts

  1. International long-term collaborative action is a fantasy, because these agreements will surely be abrogated. It is a pipe dream that other nations without economic staying power or political stability will adhere to international CO2 cap and trade rubrics.

    The nations and the political leaders will eventually revert to acting in their immediate self-interest.

    By the same token, any form of payments, foreign aid or technology/resource sharing to underdeveloped countries to assist them in meeting emissions targets, will similarly fail due to corruption or incompetence.

    The bilateral agreements will fail because certain nations, even developed western nations, will eventually act in parochial self-interest due to domestic problems that arise over time. Moreover, when the first “developed” nation abrogates the agreement or comes back to the table to renegotiate, others surely will follow. Then the entire framework will collapse in the intermediate term.

    Regardless of the fallacy or reality of AGW, the Copenhagen talks are pointless in the long run.