Presentation on theme: "The Ecological Implications of Climate Change (and what we can do) U3A group 5 June 2011 Prof Ray Wills Chief Executive Officer Sustainable Energy Association."— Presentation transcript:
The Ecological Implications of Climate Change (and what we can do) U3A group 5 June 2011 Prof Ray Wills Chief Executive Officer Sustainable Energy Association of Australia. Adjunct Professor 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 available today, and bring more and more business opportunity. Spatial technology will be a key part of getting it right!
Greenhouse and global warming Greenhouse theory is not new Basis first proposed by in 1824 Greenhouse = earth’s “blanket” - average temperature about 15°C; otherwise would be -18°C Anthropogenic global warming theory late 1960’s UN and IMO lead debate late 1979 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change formed 1988 Rio 1992 Earth Summit, Kyoto 1997 … 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 not hypothesis - it is empirically and theoretically well-established.
About Australia Warming of 1.0°C will move climate belts ~ 150 km south. Regional temperature change of 2 °C will serious impact on most life forms (CSIRO forecast 5 °C for SW WA by 2070). Changes by 2040
About WA Climate change is arguably the most important key threatening process to all biota. Biota in narrow climatic bands are likely to suffer changes in the patterns of distribution and abundance of a range of species. Impacts both direct - climate affecting plant species establishment and persistence, and indirect - climate impacting bushfire regimes or increased summer rainfall increasing the spread of dieback. Rise of 2ºC results in loss of 66% of Dryandra species, 41% of Australian eucalyptus species (including many WA species), and 100% of Acacia species. Similar studies for fauna - all frog and mammal species
About WA If global warming and drying of the south coast in WA sees temperature increases > 2° C combined with a decline in rainfall consistently below 400 mm many species of Proteaceae in WA's SW will be lost. Eucalypts and Acacia too. Likely the iconic Banksia and Dryandra will die out. So too the animals that live on them.
About WA Climate is key determinant for your garden - changes in climate will impact on what will grow.
About WA Climate is key determinant of agriculture - changes in climate will impact on crops and livestock. Rising temperatures will cause a shift in budburst, shorter growing seasons, earlier harvest dates, lower crop quality, changes in soil temperatures. Wheat growing areas in SW WA seriously impacted Northern wheatbelt likely to disappear, south reduced. Wipes out most of an industry worth more than $2 billion. 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, about 25% of wine in super-premium and ultra-premium categories.
Sea level changes Mandurah at 1m sea level rise Courtesy of WA Sustainable Energy Association
Economic models and paradigms www.greenhouse.wa.gov.au/ documents/EGWAGO15.8.2005_000.pdf
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 renewables 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011… 2008 - world invested more in total on renewable energy ($155 billion) than on traditional energy ($140 billion) Almost 50% of new generation built around the globe in 2009 was renewable energy - 80 GW of renewable power capacity built compared to 83 GW of fossil fuel plants China almost half of 2009 total with 37 GW of renewables – China now world's leader in renewable energy. Renewable sources in 2009 25% global electricity capacity 1,230 GW out of 4,800 GW total (all sources, including coal, gas, nuclear) In Australia renewable projects 24% - according to ABARE data 2010 early report $240 billion investment in 2010 Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2010, released on 15 July 2010 United Nations Environment Programme / Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century
Smart grids, smart houses (and offices) Integrated energy planning Smart grids to coordinate the actions of devices such as loads & generators
Green precincts, green towns, green cities, smart cities Global Tianjin Eco-City China for 350 000. $10bn green new city for 225,000 people, Portugal. Masdar City $US22 billion for 50 000. Australia City of Sydney – 70% CO2 reduction by 2030 City of Melbourne Stirling City Centre Cockburn Coast Fremantle Alkimos Yanchep Beach
Sustainable energy - and energy efficiency Energy efficiency in all forms Distributed, renewable energy Known costs, resource life 1000++ years Stored energy in commodities, desal Energy storage key to: improved energy delivery increased reliability reduced emissions Walmart Wesfarmers
What we can create with energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy
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Industry chamber for any businesses / enterprise in sustainable energy or being more sustainable Based in Perth, over 400 members nationally Information, communication, and networking businesses Government advocacy (lobbying) Policy development Legislation, regs and taxation - barriers and incentives Education, skills and training Calls for government leadership - and procurement Industry mapping Energising Kids – energy for the next generation