Thursday, October 03, 2013

What does it mean for Australia?

The latest climate change report is out, as I wrote on Monday. But what does it mean for Australia?

The hottest days will be up to 6 degrees hotter (remember Sydney was already 46°C last summer). Increased sea level rise could affect our coastal cities, and increased flood and drought will be bad news for agricultural areas.

During the release of the report, some prominent scientists had some comments about the effects for Australia:

"I am concerned about the unabated increase in upper ocean heat content reported by the IPCC. This is of particular relevance for eastern Australia where heat stored in the upper ocean has contributed to the major extreme rainfall and Queensland flood events during the summers of 2011 and 2012.

With a large population living close to the coast in Australia it is a real worry that sea level estimates have been revised upwards in the current IPCC Report – and their estimate is on the conservative side. This means we need a major rethink of how we manage, use, and develop our coastal communities and cities."
Dr Helen McGregor, University of Wollongong

"For Australia, this ratio (of more warm records, fewer cold ones) has been noted for decades."
Dr Julie Arblaster, Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)

"This is really going to be crucial to Australia's future. We're looking at impacts in Australia that are going to be at least as bad as other places because Australia sits at a range of latitudes that are expected to dry out as a result of a warmer climate. We tend to live on the coasts and sea levels are going to keep rising, and it's also a country that experiences extremes of heat."
Professor Steven Sherwood

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