We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal! #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #nswpol #SpringSt #WApol #TheDrum #QandA #StopAdani #EndCoal #ClimateStrike #FFF

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By Peter Forbes

Peter Forbes is a science writer whose work has appeared in New Scientist, The Guardian, The Times, Scientific American and New Statesman, among others. His latest book, co-authored with Tom Grimsey, is Nanoscience: Giants of the Infinitesimal (2014). He lives in London.

Is this the new normal?

A lazy buzz phrase – ‘Is this the new normal?’ – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it’s worse than that – we’re on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

We have known since the 1980s what’s in store for us. Action taken then to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by 2005 might have restricted the global temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. But nothing was done, and the…

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