Global ice-sheets are melting at an increased rate; Arctic sea-ice is disappearing much faster than recently projected, and future sea-level rise is now expected to be much higher than previously forecast, according to a new global scientific synthesis prepared by some of the world's top climate scientists.

The Copenhagen Diagnosis - a year in the making - documents the key findings in climate change science since the publication of the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report in 2007.

The 26 researchers, including several scientists from the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), conclude that several important aspects of climate change are occurring at the high end or even beyond the expectations of only a few years ago.

Without significant mitigation, the report says global mean warming could reach as high as seven degrees Celsius by 2100.

"We have already almost exceeded the safe level of emissions that would ensure a reasonably secure climate future. Within just a decade global emissions need to be declining rapidly. A binding treaty is needed urgently to ensure unilateral action among the high emitters," said co-author Professor Matthew England, ARC Federation Fellow and joint director of CCRC.

Read the full story at the Faculty of Science newsroom.

Media contact: Bob Beale, UNSW Faculty of Science | 0411 705 435