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Effect of climate change on Australia

By Murray Bourne, 06 Aug 2006

There are fewer people these days denying that global warming is happening.

The effects in some countries are going to be more severe than in others. A very comprehensive analysis of possible effects in Australia could be found at Climate Change - An Australian Guide to the Science and Potential Impacts from the Australian government's Department of the Environment and Heritage, but it is no longer available. Here's a news report on it: Adapt to climate change, report urges.

Some of the conclusions are ominous:

Australia is vulnerable to changes in temperature and precipitation projected for the next 50 to 100 years, because it already has extensive arid and semi-arid areas, relatively high rainfall variability from year to year, and existing pressures on water supply in many areas.

The lucky country may not be so lucky soon:

In addition, vulnerability arises due to high fire risk, Australian ecosystems sensitive to climate change, and invasion by exotic animal and plant species introduced by human activity.

On the economic impact:

Australia also has a high concentration of population in coastal areas, an economy strongly dependent on world commodity prices, tourism dependent on the health of the Great Barrier Reef and other fragile ecosystems, and economically and socially disadvantaged groups of people.

I won't be buying a house right next to the sea, that's for sure...

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