Oct 02, 2007 - 5:08am
New climate change projections released by the CSIRO and the
Australian Bureau of Meteorology paint a grim picture of the inheritance
we are leaving future Australians, but highlights that action to reduce
greenhouse pollution will reduce climate impacts.
drought illustrates the legacy we are leaving our children if
governments fail to reverse rising greenhouse pollution,” said John
Connor, Chief Executive of the Climate Institute.
“With no action
to turn the tide on our rising greenhouse pollution levels Australia’s
top climate scientists suggest increases in the number of months in
drought across eastern and south Western Australia of up to 40-80%.”
The CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology also project:
- Annual warming of 3.4oC above 1990 levels with high levels of emissions and 1.8oC with “low emissions” by 2070.
- Average Australian temperatures rose 0.9oC from 1950 until the present “likely to be mostly due to increases in greenhouse gases from human activities”.
waves more than double by 2070 with high levels of emissions. For
example, in Sydney and Adelaide the number of days that experience days
over 35oC more than doubles, while in Brisbane it increases
eightfold. At these sites low emissions growth reduces the number of
heat waves by around 30% or more.
Lower emissions also
lowers the chance of large declines in rainfall. For example, around
Perth with high levels of emissions the chance of seeing a further 20%
reduction in rainfall is around 50%. With low emissions Perth is
unlikely to see further declines in rainfall of this magnitude.
projections give us a window into the future that we could be leaving
our kids, disturbingly we are already experiencing the impacts described
in this report like hotter, drier droughts and more frequent and severe
bushfires. But by taking urgent action now we can avoid the worst
impacts of climate change and create a more hopeful future for our
“Low greenhouse pollution levels means lower levels of
climate change, however even the “low emissions” scenario described by
CSIRO won’t be enough to avoid what scientists describe as “dangerous
climate change” and limit global warming to 2oC above
pre-industrial levels (figure 1). To do this we need decisive
leadership from government to ensure emissions peak in developed
countries like Australia in the next five years and then decline.”
political party has a plan for Australia’s future unless it has clear
plans to reverse our rising greenhouse pollution, ensure all new
electricity comes from clean energy and join the rest of the world to
building on the Kyoto framework to reduce greenhouse pollution.”