Climate change 'has already begun'

01 Apr, 2014 04:55 AM
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22
 
Australia is a land of droughts and flooding rains. Always has been, always will be

CLIMATE change is being felt in all corners of the globe, and some parts of the natural world may already be undergoing irreversible changes, an assessment by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found.

The report on the impact of climate change - released on Monday and the first of its kind in seven years - says the likelihood of severe and irreversible damage to the planet will grow if high greenhouse gas emissions continue and the planet warms significantly.

Amid the changes already observed in Australia are warming of surface air and ocean temperatures, and changes to precipitation. Ocean climate zones are shifting - there has been a 350-kilometre southward movement of the East Australian Current over the past 60 years.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the CSIRO had cautioned against attributing any particular weather event to climate change: ''Australia is a land of droughts and flooding rains. Always has been, always will be,'' he said.

Mr Abbott said he was very happy the government had pledged to take strong climate change action heading into the election, but said the existing carbon price was a ''very dumb policy''.

Some of the future climate threats identified for Australia in the report include more coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and declines in rainfall across southern NSW and Victoria.

Changes are also already being observed across the planet - the quality and quantity of water systems have been affected, wildlife are changing their range and behaviour, and the net impact on crop yields has been negative. There are early warning signs that Arctic sea ice and warm water corals are changing irreversibly. The report says some threats from climate change are considerable at just one or two degrees warming above pre-industrial levels. The average temperature across the globe has risen 0.85 degrees since 1880.

The threats become high to very high if the warming increases to four degrees.Risks under this scenario include severe and widespread damage to unique and threatened human and ecosystems, substantial species extinction and threats to global food security.

''We look around the world and see widespread impacts of the climate changes that have already occurred,'' Dr Chris Field, co-chairman of the research team behind the report, said. ''Many of these have real consequences.''

The report says the world's poor could face the most stress as climate hazards would multiply the pressures they already faced.

It said the impact of extreme weather events, such as bushfires and floods, showed a lack of preparedness in all countries, regardless of the level of development.

Labor environment spokesman Mark Butler said the points raised were ''very, very serious'' and it was a wake-up call for the government to reassess its climate position. Greens leader Christine Milne called on the government to abandon ''the foolish strategy'' of axing the carbon price.

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READER COMMENTS

Em
1/04/2014 5:19:23 AM

If only this was an April Fool.... cue the conspiracy theorists keen to tell us how the UN will benefit from this devastating news. (Ps - warming theory can't be true anyway, it was a bit cold at my place this morning)
LTF
1/04/2014 6:31:36 AM

It has been mathematically demonstrated that no realistic amount of our taxes will or can ever do anything to change climates. All we have supporting action to tax people over Climate Change are questionable scientists and nut jobs, who are happy to see us all sent broke so they can have their work funded. Most people in the world either can not afford to fund them or are not prepared to have their money wasted. Answer is, get used to it. Climate has been changing for thousands of years and man is incapable of over powering nature. Learn to live with nature, is all we can do.
Jude
1/04/2014 7:24:34 AM

And it was more than a bit cold in the USA and Canada this year - the Niagara Falls froze solid and that is a rare occurrence. The climate changes all the time, the truth is that it is normal and not caused by humans.
Frank Blunt
1/04/2014 8:38:16 AM

Your right there Em , Nico , fridg , bg , this is an april fools joke , every day is april fools day for you eh ? Alice in wonderland right here on The Land.
Dr Who
1/04/2014 8:43:48 AM

Did anyone see the news this morning of 10 metre deep snow in Japan. The warming is really bad there.
Sunshine
1/04/2014 8:48:14 AM

Who,s having a lend of who here , do they really expect me to believe this ? I wonder whats next , aliens landing at the White house ?
Common Sense
1/04/2014 10:57:00 AM

Thank God Tony is in charge now and he is putting a stop to this silly rubbish in Australia. The stupid co2 tax is a cancer on our country. Anyone who still believes the shrill CAGW nonsense really needs mental help. Those in the know, know what this is all about and it has nothing to do with the climate. Take note, your liberty and way of life are on the line along with your money. I suggest you all take a very close look at who is saying all this and what they are advocating to fix an imaginary problem. You won't like it.
Albert Einstein.
1/04/2014 12:30:29 PM

Yes climate change has begun , about 14 billion years ago. When has it ever stopped changing ?
Hydatid
1/04/2014 12:46:09 PM

Folks !!...its not a UN conspiracy, or a new world order, or a cunning Greenie trick, or for that matter the "Illuminati" or the Knights Templar......it is the consensus view from the overwhelming majority of climate scientists around the world. It is simply this: 1.climate is getting hotter over the long term....certain. 2.major contributor is greenhouse gas...almost certain. 3. Human activity has contributed significantly...more likely than not. 4.Warming will accelerate with significant downside consequences...a good chance. 5.We will do something about it...fat chance
travelling wilberry
1/04/2014 2:29:55 PM

can we shut down thise pesky volcanos? I am pretty sure they emit a fair bit more than humans. Remember the one in Iceland a few years ago that shut down European airspace?
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