World officials such as the US Secretary of State, the World Bank Chief, IMF Chief, and UN Climate Chief have warned us to act quickly on climate change before it’s too late – before irreversible climate tipping points are reached. The Guardian newspaper and famous Australians are calling for greater climate action and the latest international climate reports outline the dire consequences if we continue to ignore the science. Will we listen in time?
2014 was the world’s hottest year on record. Currently the world is firmly on track for a catastrophic +4 degree rise in temperature – which humans simply won’t be able to adapt to. Extreme weather records in Australia and around the world continued to be broken in 2014 as manmade global warming ramps up – causing disastrous floods, ice and snow storms and deep freezes, heatwaves, bushfires and droughts.
In 2015 events exacerbated by climate change included Category 5 Cyclone Pam which levelled Vanuatu (see Climate Council report), Category 3 Cyclone Olwyn which devastated Carnarvon, and WA’s worst bushfires. These increasingly common events are claiming lives, wrecking homes and infrastructure, killing livestock, wildlife and costing economies billions of dollars. The polar ice melt is accelerating, predicted to raise sea levels by several metres.
Heatwaves kill more Australians than any other natural disaster, and their frequency and intensity is set to increase – along with dangerous bushfires – as global temperatures continue to rise. The Climate Council Angry Summer Report details the 156+ records broken across the nation at the end of our hottest year, and it recently released its Abnormal Autumn Report into even more new weather records.
A Bureau of Meteorology expert warns WA to expect decades of rising temperatures, hotter, drier and more extreme summers. The BOM/CSIRO State of the Climate 2014 paints a grim picture of an ongoing heating climate unless carbon emissions are reined in.
So it’s time for us to #jointhedots on climate…to realise that if we keep investing in and burning fossil fuels, adopting a ‘business as usual’ approach, our carbon emission pollution will push us into the kind of volatile, risky future scientists tell us humans will find increasingly difficult to adapt to. Do we really want 50 degree summers to become the new norm?
Climate Council report shows heatwave frequency already surpasses 2030 predictions; WA’s ‘mad’ summer a taste of decades of extreme heat to come; State of the Climate 2014 paints grim picture; Angry Summer Report details over 156 records broken; Lights out for the Great Barrier Reef; South Australia’s record 2014 heat costs $380 million in lost productivity; 80% of Queensland now in drought; Climate change devastates Pilbara coral reefs in marine heatwaves; Australian heatwaves getting hotter and longer; Punishing heatwave was one of Australia’s harshest; Ski resorts in Australia to lose their snow
Latest international scientific report shows that humanity could face extinction if inaction continues; Why climate change is very bad for your health; Record drought takes its toll in Queensland and New South Wales; Bureau of Meteorology Annual Climate Report shows 2013 was Australia’s hottest; Climate science and solutions for Australia; Marine life extinction fears; Unprecedented acidification of our oceans; Crop yields down with every degree rise; Continued Antarctic ice melt a global threat; Arctic melt causes more climate problems than anticipated; Greenland ice sheet starting to slip
“It’s not an exaggeration to say to you that the entire way of life that you live and love is at risk” – US Secretary of State calls for urgent global action on climate before it’s too late; BBC report on John Kerry’s urgent pleas to combat climate change; World begins 2014 with unusual number of extreme weather events; Indonesia risks losing up to 1500 islands by 2050 from climate change; New IPCC climate reports shows significant threats for Australia
Frequency of flooding across Europe to double; UK storms: climate change is clearly happening says Defence Secretary; Climate change is an issue of national UK security; Flooding crisis likely to get worse; The UK government must act now on climate change; Biggest emergency relief effort since World War II; Climate change is here now and it could lead to global conflict – Lord Stern, UK; Costs near $1.6 billion; London at risk of catastrophic flooding
Worst Middle East drought to affect global food prices; Snow and ice storms across US; Entire East Coast under threat; US catastrophic ice storm rolls south; Deaths rise from US winter storms; Finance freeze – US economy hit by $15 billion so far; Snow kills, disrupts power and flights in Japan; Marshall Islands underwater; China declares water on climate pollution; Greenland melting – new Rolling Stone feature with video
Learn more about climate change online in a free Open2Study course being run by Professor Lesley Hughes from the Climate Council and Macquarie University. Easy-to-follow videos explain the science, solutions, and include interviews with Professor Tim Flannery of the Climate Council.
Based in Perth, Western Australia, Tanyia Maxted writes on the climate crisis, divestment from the fossil fuels causing climate change, and solutions such as solar-charged electric cars. The mother-of-two previously worked in water science communication for an Australian Government-funded national research centre, and in science communication for two Perth universities. See archived articles for ScienceNetworkWA and her UK-published books via Amazon.