The CSIRO has recently released a report (see here) on how climate change is going to radically impact the Australian environment. Even News Corporation publication The Herald Sun – home of Andrew Bolt – is reporting:
And the study’s lead researchers fear Australians may not be ready to accept the new way their country may soon smell, sound and look.
The Commonwealth’s science and research body has produced the first “Australia-wide assessment of the magnitude of the ecological impact that climate change could have on biodiversity” and how the changes could be managed.
It says totally new environments will emerge while others vanish and there will be a decline in forest environments, which will give way to shrubs and grasslands.
“Climate change is likely to start to transform some of Australia’s natural landscapes by 2030,” said lead researcher Dr Michael Dunlop, from the CSIRO’s Ecosystem Sciences division.
“By 2070, the ecological impacts are likely to be very significant and widespread.
“Many of the environments our plants and animals currently exist in will disappear from the continent. Our grandchildren are likely to experience landscapes that are very different to the ones we have known.”
The changes will be so profound that they will have major implications for management of the environment and, in particular, Australia’s national parks and nature reserves.
“If future generations want to experience and enjoy our distinctive plants and animals and the wonders of the Australian bush, then we need to give biodiversity the greatest opportunity to adapt naturally in a changing and variable environment, rather than trying to prevent ecological change,” Dr Dunlop said.
The study identified a range of management options, including ensuring there is plenty of habitat of different types available for plants and animals.
“But one of the biggest challenges could be the community accepting the levels of ecological change that we could experience,” Dr Dunlop said.
There has been a steady chorus arguing for adaptation measures and planning to begin immediately. This is not to take away from the issue of mitigation – reducing CO2 emissions.
But the truth – the hard, scary, ugly truth – is that we are going to overshoot safe boundary limits.