Global warming has become a significant issue both environmentally and politically in our society today. The problem began when environmentalists and scientists realised that the world’s temperatures were on a steady rise (partly as a result of the burning of greenhouse gases creating a depletion of the ozone layer).The island continent of Australia is far from being safe from the Global Warming Phenomenon as its climate is becoming warmer just like the rest of the world.Over the last 50 years, Australia’s climate has been on a gradual, yet consistent temperature rise; it is expected to rise between 1.
4 degrees and 5.8 degrees by the year 2100. Consequently, the land has grown much drier and because of this there has been a steady increase of droughts and bushfires. With the rise of temperature also comes other climatic changes such as rainfall and soil moisture content which would affect flora, fauna and the agricultural industry.The forecasted effects of global warming on Australia’s fauna and flora are that, many species will become extinct or endangered as they would have difficulty adapting the change in temperature. The flora of Australia will be greatly diminished, as global warming has increased the number of bushfires and droughts that severely damage vegetation and wipe-out many species of flora.
Also due to the temperature rise, tropical rainforests in North Queensland would become depleted as the moisture would be reduced.In relation to the fauna of Australia, great changes have already been observed. One observation taken in 2002 showed that animals and birds had changed their habitat because the snow cover had been declining around Australia’s highest mountain (Mt. Kosciusko).
It was also found that animals were moving higher up in the mountain and that migratory birds were coming in earlier after winter.The forecasted effect of global warming on Australia’s agricultural and other industries is that it will have quite a great impact. With the increase of droughts and bushfires (As mentioned before), the production of crops are at a higher risk of being lowered. Not only would this happen but the rise in temperature would severely lower fruit crop production. This would be a result of the fruit trees not receiving enough cold weather which is needed for their “chilling” time, without cold weather, the onset of fruit setting would take a much longer time and thus decrease production rates.
Furthermore, with the increase of temperature and dry weather, there would be a decrease in rainfall, this not only effecting field crops, but effecting the pastures on which livestock need for grazing. Another effect of global warming on Australia’s agricultural industry would be that, with the increase of temperature there would be the decrease of milk production in dairy cattle and the increased death rate of livestock (due to heat-stress related problems). Other industries may also be effected include tourism, which would decline as the increase of bushfires, floods, temperatures and the decrease of our unique biodiversity would not be attractive to foreigners visiting Australia.The government should take all these forecasts into consideration and set up campaigns to protect and preserve our current biodiversity. Simple actions such as conserving water, cutting down the burning of greenhouse gases, cutting down general pollution, recycling resources and finding alternate species (adaptable to climate change) , which farmers could plant instead of the present ones and using other forms of energy (instead of those created by the burning of greenhouse gases) such as solar and wind.
The government should also inform the public on the effects of global warming and create laws that prohibit actions that would cause damage to the environment or increase the effects of global warming. By doing this, the government will be able to work with the community of Australia and help to preserve what is unique to Australia.