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what we do know. Science has established that climateis changing and that the world will need to makesubstantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissionsover the next few decades if the worst impacts ofdangerous climate change are to be avoided.The role of the Met Office and other scientists aroundthe world will be to continue to press on in developingthe emerging tools that will be used to underpinsensible adaptation and mitigation decisions whichwill determine all our futures. nABOUT THE AUTHORProfessor Julia Slingo has been Met Office ChiefScientist since February 2009 and is responsible forproviding scientific and technical strategy, anddirecting research and development across weatherand climate.She has had a long-term career in climate modellingand research. Her personal research addressesproblems in tropical climate variability, its influenceon the global climate and its response to climatechange. Increasingly, Professor Slingo's researchconsiders the multi-disciplinary aspects of climatevariability and the need to improve the representationof weather systems and rainfall distributions inclimate prediction models. She has successfullypromoted the use of much higher resolution inclimate models.GLOBAL VOICES087capability of climate models. It is true that there ismuch more to do and that we must continue to investin research and development, but it is clear that noteverything is uncertain and that we can provideinformation and advice that can be acted upon. Thereare fundamental aspects of the science of climatechange which are certain, and even our currentunderstanding of how the Earth system will respond toincreasing greenhouse gases suggests that theoutcome may well be worse rather than better than wecurrently predict. In the UK, the Met Office Hadley Centre has beenworking hard to provide the right sort of information tosupport long-term planning decisions withingovernment and businesses alike. We have taken thefirst steps in moving from raw uncertainty toprobabilities of particular outcomes. This allows usersto assess their particular vulnerabilities in the contextof probable outcomes, and decide what level of riskthey are prepared to take. These projections - the UKClimate Projections 2009 - are already forming thebackbone of adaptation decisions being made in theUK for up to 100 years ahead, and this approach couldbe extended to other regions of the globe.AND FINALLYAll too often uncertainty in science offers a convenientexcuse for delaying important decisions. In examiningthe uncertainties we must take care to not throw awayGRAPH 2: INDICATORS OF A WARMING WORLDA range of observations that are all decreasing over several decades, as expected under climate change.Each of the different coloured lines in each graph represents an independently collected set of data.Source: Met Office/NOAAAbove:Professor JuliaSlingo has been MetOffice Chief Scientistsince February 2009

ddressing the European Parliament inStrasbourg, France, the United NationsSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon urgedEurope to show leadership in the face ofcritical global challenges including extreme poverty andclimate change. The United Nations and the European Union arenatural partners. We are making a real difference forpeople all around the world. We are confronting manychallenges, multiple crises. But something else ishappening - a light bulb moment around the world. Country after country, leader after leader, is coming torecognise that the best way to address our challengesis by taking them on together, with the United Nationsand all the members of the European Union. Nonation, no group, no region can do it alone. If we sharein the burden, we will share in the benefits. So, today,I would like to talk about solidarity. How, together, theEuropean Union and the United Nations can addressthe real fears of real people.First, the poverty challenge. In September, world leadersgathered in New York for the most significant globaldevelopment summit in a decade. There is good news:major progress in combating extreme poverty andhunger, in school enrolment and child health, cleanwater and fighting malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. Yetachievements are uneven. Obstacles stand in the way.Global trade talks have stagnated, locking in placeharmful subsidies and an unfair regime that denydeveloping countries new opportunities. Rising pricesare putting essential medicines out of reach of many ofthe neediest. Nearly 1 billion people go to bed hungryevery night. And this year alone, an additional64 million people will fall into extreme poverty. All ofthis calls for a renewed push to achieve the Goals bythe deadline of 2015.At the recent Millennium Development Goals summit,that is precisely what we agreed. We will boostresources and accountability. I commend thosemembers of the European Union that made strongcommitments despite fiscal pressures. We can tightenbelts without closing our eyes to common challenges.Our second great challenge is climate change. Here,too, Europe's vision and voice have been central.Scientists warn that the extreme weather we havewitnessed in many countries could be the opening acton our future. We have seen raging fires in Russia, epicfloods in Pakistan. We must always be careful,however, about linking specific weather events toclimate change. But neither should we avert our eyesfrom what is plain to see.The message is clear: the more we delay, the more wewill have to pay - in competitiveness, in resources andin human lives. We must take action now to reduceclimate risks, strengthen our resilience, and supportdeveloping countries in pursuing clean energy growth.Copenhagen was not perfect, but it provided animportant basis for moving forward.Since then, there has been progress on importantimplementation issues such as adaptation, technologycooperation, steps to reduce deforestation. Movementhas been slower on mitigation commitments, long-term financing monitoring and verification and thefuture of the Kyoto Protocol.At the upcoming United Nations climate changeconference in CancĂșn, we must capture progress onthose issues where there is consensus and on thoseRight: Secretary-Generalof the United Nations,Ban Ki-moonA CALL FOR GLOBAL ACTIONTO REDUCE CLIMATE RISKS088GLOBAL VOICESBAN KI-MOON, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS (UN)AUN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras