The%20Impact%20of%20Global%20Warming%20on%20Western%20Australia%20a%20presentation%20for%20CWA,%2025%20July%202007 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Impact of Global Warming on Western Australia a presentation for CWA, 25 July 2007 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The%20Impact%20of%20Global%20Warming%20on%20Western%20Australia%20a%20presentation%20for%20CWA,%2025%20July%202007

The Impact of Global Warming on Western
Australiaa presentation for CWA, 25 July 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.

Sustainability in a changing climate for business
and the community
  • McDonald's Corp. is blogging on the environment.
  • Starbucks Corp. has a green-themed online game.
  • Hilton Hotels Corp. linked manager pay to green
  • All corporates say they have worked for years or
    even decades on pro-environment strategies and
    corporate social responsibility, but growing
    awareness of global warming among consumers is
    changing the way they work.
  • Businesses in green buildings report improved
    productivity, better staff retention, fewer sick
    days, millions of dollars in energy savings and a
    reduced environmental footprint.
  • California Governor Schwarzenegger and New York
    City mayor Bloomberg The New Action Heroes doing
    the things that gridlocked Washington won't.

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.

Historical global temperatures
Drivers of climate change
  • Solar forcing and the Milankovitch mechanism can
    influence environmental change and global
  • Variability in the electromagnetic and
    particulate output of the Sun can cause changes
    in the Earth's upper atmosphere.
  • Milankovitch cycles - the orbit of the earth has
    a number of pronounced and predictable

Drivers of climate change
  • Plate tectonics

Drivers of climate change
  • Volcanic activity and meteor impacts cause
    physical and/or chemical changes in the
    atmosphere and induce global changes in climate.

Drivers of climate change
Measuring change
  • Many methods that deliver proxy data on
    environmental change, and techniques for dating
    and comparing records - here are a few
  • Geomorphological and geological indications of
    climate change
  • Biological growth rates - Coral, tree rings
  • Accumulation rates
  • Ice - physical properties (thickness, crystals
    for temperature), particulates, ECM, gases,
    isotopes - (volcanoes and pollution).
  • non-ice proxies, including sediments

Geological evidence
  • Late Cretaceous global climate warmer than
  • No ice at the Poles.
  • Dinosaurs migrated between the Warm Temperate and
    Cool Temperate Zones as the seasons changed.
  • http//

History of world temperature
  • Late Carboniferous to Early Permian (315 mya --
    270 mya) is the only time period in the last 600
    million years when both atmospheric CO2 and
    temperatures were as low as they are today
    (Quaternary Period ).

Out of Eden
Greenhouse gases
Since 1751 roughly 305 billion tonnes of carbon
released Half of emissions have occurred since
mid 1970s
Instrumental Record - Temperature
Instrumental Record - temperature
  • Satellites have been measuring the temperature of
    the troposphere since 1979.
  • Better data - real average
  • Best data late 1980s
  • Best computers 1998

Evidence of global warming
Sea level changes
About WA
  • Spatial variationsin sea level

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 Perths 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 1.0C 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
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
  • 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

About WA
  • Tree crops are particularly sensitive because of
    longer lead times to reach production.
  • Changes to stone fruit also be impacted as fruit
    production requires chilling to create bud set.
  • Dairy and beef cattle industry will face
    decreased pasture production.
  • Honey industry will face impact as native
    ecosystems and agricultural systems change, with
    honey production on the decline.

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
Sea level changes
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

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.

About WA
  • Other WA impacts will be the same as around the
  • 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 changes
Economic risk of change
Climate Risk
Sector Level
Political / Regulatory
Physical Risk
Supply Chain
Company Level
Reputation / Brand
Products / Technology
  • Negligence is common law if you have knowledge
    that something is at risk and fail to act, you
    are negligent.

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
About WA
  • We will need
  • new crops, new cropping systems
  • new fuels (grow your own), new technology
  • people willing to change and innovate
  • If we were raising kangaroos instead of cattle we
    would have lower methane emissions and a more
    drought tolerant stock.

To market, to market
  • State and Territory Governments - in absence of
    Australian Government - have agreed to a national
    emissions trading scheme (NETS) to be initiated
    by 2010.
  • Federal Labor opposition have indicated they will
    join if they win office.
  • PM Howard has stated an emissions trading scheme
    to be implemented Federally before 2012
    comparable but more broadly based than State
  • Establishing certified carbon certificates for

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
Greenhouse gases
Greenhouse gases
  • CO2 emission per capita per year per country

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
  • 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.

Responding to climate change
Responding to climate change
Popular accounts
  • Tim Flannery - The Weather Makers
  • Fred Pearce - The Last Generation How Nature
    Will Take Her Revenge for Climate Change.
  • last generation to be able to rely on a stable
  • Rupert Murdoch has signed on
  • News Corp would be carbon neutral across all
    of its businesses by 2010 Climate change poses
    clear catastrophic threats. We might not agree on
    extent but we certainly can't afford the risk of
  • Al Gores - An Inconvenient Truth (documentary by
    Davis Guggenheim)
  • we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not
    a political issue it's a moral issue. We have
    everything we need to get started, with the
    possible exception of the will to act. That's a
    renewable resource. Let's renew it.

Impact of warming
  • Past global warmings tell us what to expect from
    future climates and help us get ready.

Impact of warming
  • Past global warmings tell us what to expect from
    future climates and help us get ready.
  • The evidence is overwhelming human-induced
    climate change is real.
  • Consequences will be felt by all - we all must
    act now.

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
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
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