Russian >>     

Your mail 15Mb
Free Hosting
Game server

Organizations Dictionary Red List of Threatened Species Photoalbum
 News :. Adapt to climate change, report urges

Australians must be prepared to adapt to the impacts of hotter temperatures, drought, wild weather and bushfires, according to a new government report.

Australian environment minister Dr David Kemp launched the report, Climate Change: An Australian Guide to the Science and Potential Impacts, this week at an international climate change meeting in Milan, Italy.

Water supplies, coral reefs, farming and fisheries would be affected by climate change, the report said.

There would also likely be increased building insurance premiums, even tighter water restrictions, falling coastal property values and interrupted electricity supplies.

The impacts of climate change overseas could even affect Australia through trade and commodity prices, the report said.

"Australia is vulnerable to changes in temperature and precipitation projected for the next 50 to 100 years," the report said.

It acknowledged that impacts of climate change would be "complex and to some degree uncertain".

"The high probability of at least some global warming, given the inertia in the climate and socio-economic systems, means that some adaptation will be necessary."

Commenting on the report, Anna Reynolds, climate change campaigner with the conservation group WWF Australia, argued the government was not doing enough to minimise emissions linked to global warming.

"It's quite dangerous to put out a message to the Australian community to say 'okay, we're stuck with quite a high level of change, get used to using less water, get used to extreme impacts, get used to higher insurance costs," she told ABC Science Online.

"Because if governments like Australia's take emission reduction seriously in the next one to two decades, we can actually avoid some of these impacts."

Capping emissions
She said that many scientists believed that keeping global warming to within 2?C of pre-industrial levels was essential to prevent the harmful and irreversible effects of climate change such as major changes in ocean circulation and major ice sheet breakages.

She cited a report from the German Advisory Council on Global Change tabled at the Milan conference. The report said the target was only possible if countries like Australia cut emissions by 45 to 60% by 2050. "This is 50 years ahead of where the [Australian] government is at," Reynolds said.

A spokesperson for the environment minister told ABC Science Online from Milan that he had not seen the German report. But he said Australia would accept a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 60% by the end of the century, rather than by 2050.

Back to section
Copyright © RIN 2003-2005.