Presentation on theme: "The Impact of Global Warming on Western Australia NGIS presentation 2 August 2007 Dr Ray Wills Manager, Sustainability Services, SMEC Chair, WA Sustainable."— Presentation transcript:
The Impact of Global Warming on Western Australia NGIS presentation 2 August 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.
Greenhouse and global warming Greenhouse theory 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 Anthropogenic global warming theory late 1960’s 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.
Instrumental record - temperature
IPCC Assessment Report 4
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 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
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 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
Economic risk of change Sector Level Company Level Products / Technology Litigation Reputation / Brand Political / Regulatory Supply Chain Physical Risk Staff Climate Risk
Greenhouse gas reductions Life cycles Energy consumed in project Energy efficiency of materials Transport Construction Energy consumed by users post project Businesses, the community, governments, our society needs to get ready for climate change and adapt to avoid physical impacts on the whole life cycle of what we do including supply chains and infrastructure.
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
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
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, forward- thinking initiatives and create budgets that promote energy efficiency across government, business and the community.
The inconvenient truth - time has run out for solutions that are simply convenient. 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