Australian Climate Crisis: Unveiling The Top 10 Devastating Impacts of Climate Change
It is a well-known fact that the Earth’s climate has the power to shape the history of the world. It can biologically, culturally, and geographically alter the basics of the planet. However, over the last century, it has become evident that human activities can significantly contribute to climate change. In the past 100 years, the global average surface temperature has increased by about 0.7 degrees Celsius, resulting in climate change.
Australia, like many other countries, is facing severe climate imbalances due to extensive abuse over the past few centuries. The average temperature of the continent is predicted to rise by 2.5 to 11.5°F over the next century due to climate change. These minor temperature changes can have dangerous consequences in the future. Global warming is a pressing issue haunting Australia and every other nation around the world. With the constant increase in greenhouse gases, the situation is expected to worsen.
Emissions have been increasing so rapidly that the international goal of limiting global warming to 3.6 degrees, set about three years ago, seems too ambitious, according to several researchers. The nations that agreed to change their practices and reduce emissions have done little to achieve the same.
“By the time we see that climate change is really bad, your ability to fix it is extremely limited… The carbon gets up there, but the heating effect is delayed. And then the effect of that heat on the species and ecosystem is delayed. That means that even when you turn virtuous, things are actually going to get worse for quite a while.”
~ Bill Gates
According to the Australian EPA, climate change refers to any significant change in climate measures lasting for an extended period of time. This includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, wind patterns, and other effects that occur over several decades or longer.
The steep rise in global temperatures has had severe climatic effects in Australia. There have been significant changes in rainfall patterns, leading to droughts, flash floods, irregularity of rains, and excessive rainfall. Rising sea levels pose a threat to Australia’s coastal regions, resulting in the submergence of low-lying areas. Melting glaciers due to increased temperatures contribute to the rise in sea levels, especially at the poles. This endangers the habitat of several creatures that rely on colder regions, such as polar bears.
Here are some dangerous effects of climate change specific to Australia:
Changes in Rainfall Patterns
Australia has witnessed frequent floods, droughts, excessive rainfall, and irregularity of rains in the past few decades, which are direct consequences of climate change. Some regions experience heavy rainfall leading to floods, while others face severe drought conditions.
Increase in Sea Level
Rising temperatures and changes in vegetation patterns have forced some bird species in Australia to become extinct, while others have migrated to different locations. Experts believe that one-fourth of Earth’s species could go extinct by 2050. In 2008, the polar bear was added to the list of animals that could face extinction due to rising sea levels.
Extreme Heat waves
The rise in atmospheric gases from industrial and vehicular emissions is causing a projected increase in global temperatures of 3 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. This temperature rise has already contributed to a higher number of fatalities resulting from extreme heat and arid climate conditions. The Earth’s average temperature has already increased by 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past century, a worrisome trend. Research suggests that implementing effective measures to control emissions can help reduce temperatures by 0.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, offering a glimmer of hope in mitigating the impacts of climate change.
Shrinking of Arctic Ice
Greenhouse gases keep the energy in the atmosphere intact causing the temperature to rise. This is what we commonly refer to as the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is essential for the existence of our ecology. However an increase in the greenhouse gases can only lead to harmful effects to the ecology and the environment. Studies conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveal that arctic ice has decreased by a significant percentage in the last 30-40 years. If appropriate steps are not taken, it might go out of sight by the middle of this century.
Stronger Storms and Hurricanes
As earth becomes more warm, the chances of hurricanes occurring could rise in the future. Not only will they occur frequently but will be more intense, long lasting, stronger winds that have the capability to destroy coastal ecosystems and communities.
Prolonged Heat Waves
The constant release of greenhouse gases from all the anthropogenic activities is the foremost factor affecting climate change. Greenhouse gases are emitted from the combustion of fuels, industries, agricultural activities, etc. These gases heat up the atmosphere and increase the air temperature and make it difficult for the people to survive.
Spread of Disease and Economic Losses
It is expected that diseases like malaria and dengue fever will rise and will be more difficult to control as mosquitoes find those conditions favourable to spread. Heat waves in the last decade alone may have caused more than 150,000 deaths, as per the data available with World Health Organization (WHO). The rising heat waves has given rise to heat related illness which turned into death for those who were not provided with appropriate medical attention.
Deforestation, wildfires, heat waves have forced plants and animals to shift towards poles and to higher altitudes. This is not great news for environmentalists as most of them have started dying as they are not able to adapt to the changing climatic conditions which has actually pushed them towards extinction.
Prolonged heat waves caused by climate change have created appropriate hot and dry conditions for wildfires. As a result, deforestation occurs and will push wild animals to some more high altitude regions. Animals who can not adapt to new locations will die and their species become extinct.
In Australia, climate change is causing a range of dangerous effects with significant implications for the environment and society. Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns have resulted in more frequent floods, droughts, and irregular weather conditions.
The increase in sea levels poses a threat to coastal regions, leading to potential displacement of millions of people. Wildlife species are facing extinction due to habitat loss and migration challenges. Heatwaves are becoming more prolonged, causing health risks and economic losses.
Deforestation, wildfires, and habitat shifts are pushing plants and animals to adapt or face extinction. Additionally, climate change is fueling stronger storms and hurricanes, while the reduction of Arctic ice is accelerating due to increased greenhouse gas emissions. These issues highlight the urgent need for action to mitigate the dangerous effects of climate change in Australia.
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On a mission to electrify Australia. Luke is known for being at the forefront of his industry offering design, supply, installation and advice on solar panels, solar batteries, lighting, electric vehicles and chargers.
Luke has been known to invest most of his time (and money) in helping people create and experience new lifestyles through clean energy at home, business and with their cars. As well as investing his time training the next generation of climate enthusiasts through his team at Lightning Energy.