Monday, July 25, 2016

How the Penny Dropped on Climate Change for Australia

From:  Wiki 

Climate change has been a major issue in Australia since the beginning of the 21st century.[1] In 2013, the CSIRO released a report stating that Australia is becoming hotter, and that it will experience more extreme heat and longer fire seasons because of climate change.[2] In 2014, the Bureau of Meteorology released a report on the state of Australia's climate that highlighted several key points, including the dramatic increase in Australia's temperatures (particularly night-time temperatures) and the increasing frequency of bush fires, droughts and floods, which have all been linked to climate change.[3]
Since the beginning of the 20th century Australia has experienced an increase of nearly 1 °C in average annual temperatures, with warming occurring at twice the rate over the past 50 years than in the previous 50 years.[4] Recent climate events such as extremely high temperatures and widespread drought have focused government and public attention on the impacts of climate change in Australia.[5] Rainfall in southwestern Australia has decreased by 10–20% since the 1970s, while southeastern Australia has also experienced a moderate decline since the 1990s.[6] Rainfall patterns are expected to be problematic, as rain has become heavier and infrequent, as well as more common in summer rather than in winter, with little or no uptrend in rainfall in the Western Plateau and the Central Lowlands of Australia.[7] Water sources in the southeastern areas of Australia have depleted due to increasing population in urban areas (rising demand) coupled with climate change factors such as persistent prolonged drought (diminishing supply). At the same time, Australia continues to have the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions.[8] Temperatures in Australia have also risen dramatically since 1910 and nights have become warmer.[9]
A carbon tax was introduced in 2011 by the Gillard government in an effort to reduce the impact of climate change and despite some criticism, it has successfully reduced Australia's carbon dioxide emissions, with coal generation down 11% since 2008-09.[10] The Australian Government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been criticised for being "in complete denial about climate change".[11] Furthermore, the Abbott government repealed the statistically effectual carbon tax on 17 July 2014 in a heavily criticised move.[12] The renewable energy target (RET)–launched in 2001–has been heavily modified and somewhat butchered under Abbott's government.[13] However, currently under the government of Malcolm Turnbull, Australia has attended the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference and adopted the Paris Agreement. This agreement includes a review of emission reduction targets every 5 years from 2020.[14]
The federal government and all state governments (New South Wales,[15] Victoria,[16] Queensland,[17] South Australia,[18] Western Australia,[19] Tasmania,[20] Northern Territory[21] and the Australian Capital Territory[22]) have explicitly recognised that climate change is being caused by greenhouse gas emissions, in conformity with the scientific opinion on climate change. Sectors of the population are actively campaigning against new coal mines and coal-fired power stations because of their concern about the effects of global warming on Australia.[23][24][25] There is expected to be a net benefit to Australia of stabilising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 450ppm CO2 eq.[26]
The per-capita carbon footprint in Australia was rated 12th in the world by PNAS in 2011, considerably large given the small population of the country.[27]  MORE