Expert says reversing climate change would be 'almost impossible'

The past week showcased a number of weather-related dangers of climate change after a polar vortex caused parts of the US to freeze, and wildfires ravaged parts of Australia and New Zealand.

A new study shows that unless global action is taken, this dangerous, unpredictable weather will get worse.

Glaciologist Nick Golledge told The AM Show on Thursday that much of the damage that's been done to the environment is irreversible.

"A lot of the components we're changing take a very long time to come to a new equilibrium, turning them around is almost impossible."

He said while some people think the forecast temperature change of 3-4degC would be fine, this change would be crucial in extreme weather conditions.

"Sea levels are going to rise; it's going to have a huge impact in terms of the financial cost as well as the human cost.

"These are things that kill people, they change every aspect of our daily life, it's going to be a difficult thing to adapt to."

Parts of the Midwest US reached -33degC as a polar vortex passed over the country last week, setting low-temperature records in multiple states.

Mr Golledge said the most urgent change needed to be to reduce carbon emissions globally.

"There's a real need to react to these changes and to mitigate we need deep cuts to carbon emissions and that's really the most urgent thing we can do right now."

“Our best hope is to limit the damage we’ve already done.”