Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says a new report is a wake-up call to those who deny global warming is a problem.
The Climate Commission's latest report warns that of extreme weather in Australia.
The report, which has been backed by Australia's top climate scientists and science bodies, says that in some cases Australia's climate has shifted permanently.
Mr Combet says the report underpins the reason why the Government has put a price on carbon.
"These are things that people in the community need to be aware of and of course they are the underpinning reason why the Government has moved to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of an international effort to tackle climate change," he told The World Today.
"The scientific facts are very clear and we've got to deal with this issue.
You cannot bury your head in the sand like Tony Abbott would have us do."Mr Combet says Australia is not the only country working to cut emissions.
"From 2015 China will have a national emissions trading scheme, and so will Korea," he said.
"California started carbon pricing from January 1 this year.
New Zealand's had an emissions trading scheme for several years before us.
"All across the European Union there's carbon pricing through an emissions trading scheme."The Federal Coalition has reiterated its support for the science underpinning climate change following the report's release.
Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt says he agrees with the Government's desire to reduce emissions, but says it is not working.
"You have a Government that's silent about the fact that emissions in Australia go up, not down under the carbon tax," he said.
"They'll never talk about the fact that our emissions go up by 77 million tonnes between 2010 and 2020 under their carbon tax."'Critical decade'In the report, the Climate Commission looks at droughts, tropical cyclones, sea-level rise, heatwaves, bushfires and heavy rainfall.
While it says the number of tropical cyclones will not increase, the influence of climate change means they will become more intense.
One-in-100-year flooding events are already becoming more common, and sea levels have risen 20 centimetres since 1880.
While there are still some questions raised about global warming and its influence, the Climate Commission hopes this report will clear the water.
All the top climate scientists in Australia have backed it, as well as the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and the UN's chief science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Professor Lesley Hughes, one of Australia's climate commissioners, says the report should highlight the urgency of acting to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
"To stabilise the climate to within a level that we can all live with, we really need to start acting sooner rather than later.
So that's why we call this the critical decade," she told The World Today.
"Over the last few decades, because we have put more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, there is a lot more energy in the climate system.
"And because warmer air is capable of holding more water, there's a lot more capacity for extreme events like heavy rainfall.
"The best analogy is to imagine that the climate system is like rolling a dice.
"And we have now loaded the dice so that certain outcomes are becoming more probable.
"And those outcomes are the sorts of extreme events, many of which we have seen over this last summer."
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