Sep 15, 2017

Australia at Risk


In Australia, you only need to look around to realize that not only is climate change real, but its already having effects on the environment.

This winter has been one of the driest on record, and Australia's Rural Fighting Service is already concerned about the possibility of major bush fires, with the RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons saying "We have got the potential for a dangerous season". One week into Spring and there have already been over 2320 fires in the state of NSW alone. Australia has always been susceptible to bush fires, but this summer promises to be one for the record books. Because since records began in the 1800s, Australia has never been so hot.

Not convinced about the oceans' warming? Just take a look at the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world. The reef is the largest living organism on earth, home to thousands of species of coral, fish, sharks, stingray, seaweed and more. However in the past 20 years it has become evident that the reef is under a lot of stress. Coral can only cope with small changes in temperature. The 1 degree increase in temperature over the past 19 years has been held responsible for four major bleaching events; in 1998, 2002, 2016 and 2017. An aerial survey from the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies shows that out of the 2300km long reef, around 1500km has been bleached.

Clearly, something is up. And thanks to the world's scientists, we know that it is the incremental increases in the globe's temperatures. But the argument about climate change shouldn't be whether it exists- because it so evidently does- but a) whether it is caused by human activity and b) what can be done to fight it.


Rachna Shah
Sep 15, 2017

In your opinion, what can be done to convince people that climate change is a danger?

Sep 15, 2017

I think there is a need for greater education to create public awareness. Most people just don't realise that Australia is actually seeing the effects of climate change already. It's still portrayed as some far off catastrophe that their grandchildren will need to deal with. People need to know that the warming of the earth's climate isn't just more 40 degree days- its catastrophic bush fires, decades long droughts and mass extinctions. And its visible now.

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