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Transcript
The Impact of Global Warming on
Western Australia
a presentation for CWA, 25 July 2007
Dr Ray Wills
Manager, Sustainability Services, SMEC
Chair, WA Sustainable Energy Association
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
School of Earth and Geographical Sciences,
The University of Western Australia
A changing climate for business and the
community



The science is in, the globe is warming, and we must
both mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and rapidly
prepare for adaptation to climate change.
A raft of immediately accessible and affordable
solutions to reduce greenhouse emissions and provide
alternative sources of energy are already in our
possession - we can act today.
Some businesses and members of the community are
understandably nervous about the economic
ramifications of measures to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions in part because not enough work has been
done to assist them understand these issues.
Sustainability in a changing climate for
business and the community






McDonald's Corp. is blogging on the environment.
Starbucks Corp. has a green-themed online game.
Hilton Hotels Corp. linked manager pay to green outcomes.
All corporates say they have worked for years or even
decades on pro-environment strategies and corporate
social responsibility, but growing awareness of global
warming among consumers is changing the way they work.
Businesses in green buildings report improved productivity,
better staff retention, fewer sick days, millions of dollars in
energy savings and a reduced environmental footprint.
California Governor Schwarzenegger and New York City
mayor Bloomberg: The New Action Heroes doing the things
that gridlocked Washington won't.
Greenhouse and global warming

Greenhouse theory




Anthropogenic global warming theory late 1960’s




Basis first proposed by Joseph Fourier in 1824
Quantified by Svante Arrhenius in 1896
Greenhouse of earth’s “blanket” - average earth temperature
about 15°C; otherwise would be -18°C
Debate late 1970’s, Rio 1992, Kyoto …
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1988
Warming of climate is now unequivocal – global
increases in air and ocean temperatures, melting of
snow and ice, and rising sea level.
The enhanced greenhouse effect is empirically and
theoretically well-established.
Historical global temperatures
Drivers of climate change

Solar forcing and the
Milankovitch mechanism can
influence environmental
change and global climates.

Variability in the
electromagnetic and
particulate output of the Sun
can cause changes in the
Earth's upper atmosphere.
Milankovitch cycles - the orbit
of the earth has a number of
pronounced and predictable
perturbations

Drivers of climate change

Plate tectonics
QuickTime™ and a
None decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
Drivers of climate change

Volcanic activity and
meteor impacts cause
physical and/or chemical
changes in the atmosphere
and induce global changes
in climate.
Drivers of climate change
Measuring change

Many methods that deliver proxy data on
environmental change, and techniques for dating
and comparing records - here are a few:



Geomorphological and geological indications of
climate change
Biological growth rates - Coral, tree rings
Accumulation rates
 Ice - physical properties (thickness, crystals for
temperature), particulates, ECM, gases,
isotopes - (volcanoes and pollution).
 non-ice proxies, including sediments
Geological evidence

Late
Cretaceous
global climate
warmer than
present.

No ice at
the Poles.

Dinosaurs
migrated
between the
Warm
Temperate and
Cool
Temperate
Zones as the
seasons
changed.

http://www.scotese.com/lcretcli.htm
History of world temperature

Late
Carboniferous
to Early
Permian
(315 mya -- 270
mya) is the only
time period in
the last 600
million years
when both
atmospheric
CO2 and
temperatures
were as low as
they are today
(Quaternary
Period ).
http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html
Out of Eden
Industrial Era
Aust. Aboriginal Settlement
Early Hominids
Homo sapiens
Settled Agriculture (Euphrates)
Greenhouse gases
Since 1751 roughly 305 billion
tonnes of carbon released
Half of emissions have
occurred since mid 1970s
Instrumental Record - Temperature
Instrumental Record - temperature

Satellites have been measuring the temperature of
the troposphere since 1979.
• Better data
- real average
• Best data late 1980s
• Best computers 1998
Evidence of global warming
Sea level changes
About WA

Spatial variations
in sea level
Instrumental record - temperature
IPCC Assessment Report 4
Temperature
About WA

WA is arguably the first Western economy with
measurable economic impact through climate change
About WA

Annual inflow to Perth’s surface water sources dropped
from 338 GL to 114 GL

Source: Water Corporation 2006.
About WA

WA is arguably the first Western economy with
measurable economic impact through climate change

WA SW has already suffered a 20% decline in rainfall in the
last 30 years - effects on runoff more serious with 50% drop
in steam flow to reservoirs - and a further 20% reduction
predicted, and this is thought to have already started at the
end of the 1990s.

Value of lost income in water sales in dams is estimated at
$1 billion in WA through water restrictions and additions to
infrastructure (WaterCorp) - and almost another billion with
Desal II.
About WA

A warming of 1.0°C is sufficient to move climate belts about
150 km south - thus a regional change of temperature of 2
°C is likely to have a serious impact on most life forms, and
on most ecosystems and agricultural areas.
Changes by 2040
About WA


With global warming and drying of the south coast in
WA, areas with temperature increases > 2° C
combined with a decline in rainfall consistently below
400 mm will lead to the loss of many species of
Proteaceae in
WA's SW
- including the
iconic Banksia
and Dryandra,
- will die out.
As will the
animals that
live on them.
About WA



Climate is a key determinant of agriculture and
changes in climate will impact on all agriculture both crops and livestock.
Rising temperatures will cause a shift in budburst,
shorter growing seasons, earlier harvest dates,
lower crop quality.
Wheat growing areas in SW WA seriously
impacted and northern wheatbelt likely to
disappear while production in the remainder
greatly reduced, wiping out most of an industry
worth more than $2 billion.
About WA

Tree crops are particularly sensitive because of longer
lead times to reach production.

Changes to stone fruit also be impacted as fruit
production requires chilling to create bud set.

Dairy and beef cattle industry will face decreased
pasture production.

Honey industry will face impact as native ecosystems
and agricultural systems change, with honey
production on the decline.
About WA





Climate is a key influence in grape selection.
Shifting rainfall patterns and drier conditions will
change the way vineyards operate and reduce the
wine crop.
WA produces around 5% of all Australian wine, but
produces about 25% of wine in super-premium and
ultra-premium categories.
Margaret River climate will be closer to that of Perth,
cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay will be lost and
varieties suited to warmer climates such as shiraz.
Swan Valley will no longer be suitable for vines.
About WA

Sea levels up 18.5 cm in last century

Predictions this will at least triple (more than 48
cm) over the next ninety years.

Potential for 40 cm rise by 2040 and 1 metre sea
level rise by end of this century - not an extreme
estimate - within the bounds of scientifically-based
predictions, including latest CSIRO models.
Sea level changes
Mandurah
at 1m sea
level rise
Courtesy of WA Sustainable Energy Association
Sea level changes
Mandurah
at 7m sea
level rise
Courtesy of WA Sustainable Energy Association
Sea level changes
About WA


Coastal freshwater swamps will go saline.
Fringing reefs currently a barrier protecting parts of
Perth’s coastline will be further submerged offering
less protection and allowing bigger waves passage
to previously sheltered beaches.
About WA

The Indian Ocean has warmed an average 0.6°C
since 1960 - only another 0.4°C is needed for
widespread and intense coral bleaching. The
largest warming occurred off Northwest WA.

Bleaching of coral from higher ocean temperatures
will kill parts of the Ningaloo Reef just as the Great
Barrier Reef.
About WA

Other WA impacts will
be the same as around
the world







Sea level rise and storm surge
Temperature – minimum rise faster than maximum
Changing rainfall and extreme storm events
Health and safety
Emergency response function
National security
Global warming will act as a ‘threat multiplier’

International security
Global changes
http://www.igbp.kva.se//uploads/ESO_IGBP4.pdf
Economic risk of change
Climate
Risk
Sector Level
Political /
Regulatory
Physical Risk
Supply Chain
Company Level
Staff
Litigation
Reputation /
Brand
Products /
Technology
Litigation

Negligence is common law – if you have
knowledge that something is at risk and fail to
act, you are negligent.
Portfolio of technology options






Improved end-use efficiency
Higher efficiency combustion technologies
Fuel switching
New automotive technologies
Decentralized power generation
Affordable renewable technologies






Wind
Solar thermal
Solar photovoltaic
Geothermal
Tidal and waves
Capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide from power
plants or the atmosphere
Source: Graeme Pearman - GP Consulting
About WA
We will need
 new crops, new cropping systems
 new fuels (grow your own), new technology
 people willing to change and innovate
 If we were raising kangaroos instead of cattle
we would have lower methane emissions and a
more drought tolerant stock.
To market, to market




State and Territory Governments - in absence of Australian
Government - have agreed to a national emissions trading
scheme (NETS) to be initiated by 2010.
Federal Labor opposition have indicated they will join if they
win office.
PM Howard has stated an emissions trading scheme to be
implemented Federally before 2012 – comparable but more
broadly based than State proposal.
Establishing certified carbon certificates for trading.
To market, to market



Carbon emissions trading markets will be part of the
inevitable response to attempting to slow global warming
and carbon will become the single largest traded
commodity in the world.
The price of carbon will impact on energy production and
will make a range of different renewable energy projects
immediately commercially viable.
The future of energy in Australia and for the globe is an
array of sustainable energy solutions incorporating low or
zero emissions energy generation in whatever form that
ultimately proves most economically competitive.
The latest news

http://www.theage.com.au/news/tim-colebatch/the-european-solution/2006/10/23/1161455660470.html#
Greenhouse gases
Greenhouse gases

CO2 emission per capita per year per country
The latest news

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger photographed together for Time.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1632736,00.html
Responding to climate change



The challenge of climate change should be the catalyst
for changing the way we think about and plan
infrastructure, changing the way we use energy and in
so doing, future proofing our economy.
A key element of managing this change is an
integrated, whole-of-government approach to tackle
the enormous challenge that global warming poses to
Australia and the world.
Governments must put frameworks in place that take
an integrated approach to develop significant, forwardthinking initiatives and create budgets that promote
energy efficiency across government, business and the
community.
Responding to climate change
ABS STATISTICAL INDICATORS - WA • 1367.5 • JUN 2007
Responding to climate change
ABS STATISTICAL INDICATORS - WA • 1367.5 • JUN 2007
Popular accounts

Tim Flannery - The Weather Makers

Fred Pearce - The Last Generation: How Nature Will Take Her
Revenge for Climate Change.


“… last generation to be able to rely on a stable climate.”
Rupert Murdoch has signed on:

“… News Corp would be carbon neutral across all of its businesses
by 2010… Climate change poses clear catastrophic threats. We
might not agree on extent but we certainly can't afford the risk of
inaction.".”

Al Gore’s - An Inconvenient Truth (documentary by Davis
Guggenheim)

“… we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue; it's a
moral issue. We have everything we need to get started, with the
possible exception of the will to act. That's a renewable resource.
Let's renew it.”
Impact of warming

Past global warmings tell us
what to expect from future
climates and help us get
ready.
Impact of warming



Past global warmings tell us
what to expect from future
climates and help us get
ready.
The evidence is
overwhelming –
human-induced climate
change is real.
Consequences will be felt by
all - we all must act now.
The inconvenient truth - time has run out
for solutions that are simply convenient.
Dr Ray Wills
Manager, Sustainability Services, SMEC
[email protected]
Chair, WA Sustainable Energy Association
[email protected]
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
School of Earth and Geographical Sciences,
The University of Western Australia
[email protected]
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole