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The Impact of Global Warming on Western Australia NGIS presentation 2 August 2007

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Title: The Impact of Global Warming on Western Australia NGIS presentation 2 August 2007


1
The Impact of Global Warming on Western
AustraliaNGIS 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

2
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.

3
Greenhouse and global warming
  • Greenhouse theory
  • Basis first proposed by Joseph Fourier in 1824
  • Quantified by Svante Arrhenius in 1896
  • Greenhouse of earths blanket - average earth
    temperature about 15C otherwise would be -18C
  • Anthropogenic global warming theory late 1960s
  • Debate late 1970s, 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.

4
Instrumental record - temperature
5
IPCC Assessment Report 4
6
Temperature
7
About WA
  • WA is arguably the first Western economy with
    measurable economic impact through climate change

8
About WA
  • Annual inflow to Perths surface water sources
    dropped from 338 GL to 114 GL
  • Source Water Corporation 2006.

9
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.

10
About WA
  • A warming of 1.0C 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
11
About WA
  • With global warming and drying of the south coast
    in WA, areas with temperature increases gt 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
    theiconic Banksia and Dryandra, - will die
    out.
  • As will the animals that live on them.

12
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.

13
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.

14
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.

15
Sea level changes
16
Sea level changes
Mandurah at 1m sea level rise
Courtesy of WA Sustainable Energy Association
17
Sea level changes
Mandurah at 7m sea level rise
Courtesy of WA Sustainable Energy Association
18
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19
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20
About WA
  • Coastal freshwater swamps will go saline.
  • Fringing reefs currently a barrier protecting
    parts of Perths coastline will be further
    submerged offering less protection and allowing
    bigger waves passage to previously sheltered
    beaches.

21
About WA
  • The Indian Ocean has warmed an average 0.6C
    since 1960 - only another 0.4C 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.

22
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

23
Global changes
http//www.igbp.kva.se//uploads/ESO_IGBP4.pdf
24
Economic risk of change
Climate Risk
Sector Level
Political / Regulatory
Physical Risk
Supply Chain
Company Level
Staff
Litigation
Reputation / Brand
Products / Technology
25
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.

26
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
27
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.

28
The latest news
29
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.

30
The inconvenient truth - time has run out for
solutions that are simply convenient.
Dr Ray Wills Manager, Sustainability Services,
SMEC ray.wills_at_smec.com.au Chair, WA
Sustainable Energy Association chair_at_wasea.com.au
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow School of Earth
and Geographical Sciences, The University of
Western Australia rwills_at_segs.uwa.edu.au
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