Port Louis Baseline Study

The global climate is controlled by complex interactions between marine and terrestrial systems. These interactions generate a variety of climatic variables across different regions and exert significant controls on day-to-day developments at the global, regional and local levels. Climate change is defined by the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) as a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (IPCC 2007). Climate change may be a result of natural internal processes, external forcing or from anthropogenic changes such as increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) makes a clear division between anthropogenic causes that alter the composition of the atmosphere and the natural causes attributing to climate variability. Climate change, as defined by the UNFCCC, is any ‘change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and is in addition to natural climate variability over comparable time periods’ (IPCC 2001) and the IPCC (2007a) concurs that anthropogenic forcing is a major driver.


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