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Overheating: That is the news « Previous | |Next »
February 20, 2004

The main political news this week is not what is happened in the bubble of federal parliament. Nor is the crisis of masculinity, or why boys need good masculine role models, even if the work-life balance/conflict is one of the most pressing political questions for Australia.

It's the soaring temperatures and the two week plus heat wave in Southern Australia.

The place is warming up. The airconditioners are not coping. People are stressed from the heat. Cities like Adelaide just bake day after day. Its been blackouts in Perth.

State energy managers hustle to ensure an adequate power supply as Australians suffer from what is likely to be the hottest stretch of weather for quite some time.

And its been a similar story in California.

It brings the issue of global warming to the fore. It's getting hotter and its getting drier. This has not been factored into the forward planning of a national electricity market. And the public and private electricity infrastructure is decaying.

Despite the warning signs, the US, Canada and Australia are seeing an overall increase in their greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing temperatures. Now just think about the implications of climate change for Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

It means a bleaching of the coral caused by rising water temperatures. What will be left are bleached coral skeletons. That's a heavy knock for the Queensland tourism industry.

The inference? The coal-fired power stations are a big source of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause the heating of the climate and water and so are responsible for the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

A report on the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef can be found here. Called 'Implications of Climate Change for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef', it is a comprehensive study on how Australia’s Great Barrier Reef may look in an overheating world. It explores possible future scenarios for the Reef.

The best case scenario for the Reef is recoverable loss if global temperature increases remain below 2 degrees. The worst case scenario is one of coral populations collapsing by 2100 with the re-establishment of coral reefs being highly unlikely over the following 200-500 years.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:39 PM | | Comments (2)


Did you catch the article in The Guardian today?,12374,1153530,00.html

I've been flat out all day. I haven't had a chance to look at any newspapers yet.

Thanks for the tip.