Climate change is becoming a genuine reality for many nations globally, and none are set to see the effects of this devastation more than Australia. Much of the wildlife in Australia is found nowhere else in the world, and the continent is home to tens of thousands of plant species as well. Climate change is the biggest threat to the incredible biodiversity of this island, and if we don’t make efforts to stop the effects now, we can find ourselves in the middle of an extinction event. The impact of climate change on Australia will harm not just the fauna, but us humans as well.
Increased bushfires and wildfires
With temperatures rising globally, Australia, a country already prone to extremely high temperatures in the summer months faces the possibility of even higher temperatures. This has led to the number of bushfires increasingly significantly. The bushfire season has started to become longer ever since the 1950s and is also getting progressively more extreme. This is due to conditions getting drier and hotter due to climate change. Not only does this pose a severe danger to the fauna, but it can harm humans, as well as our settlements, get closer and closer to forests.
Reduction in water resources:
The plantation, in particular, plays a massive role in determining the quality and the quantity of the water supply. Many of the rivers and catchments of Australia are covered by forests, and as climate change damages these forests, the water supply will fall in quality and quantity. If things continue as they are, there could be a 7-35% reduction in Melbourne’s water supply.
Heatwaves will get more intense:
Australia is hit by heat waves each year, but as the temperature continues to increase, heatwaves are only set to get even hotter. This poses a serious threat to elderly and young children, as well as sick people. Experts predict that these heatwaves will have the most significant impact towards the north, while the cooler south will have a reduction in cold season deaths.
The World Meteorological Organization has already stated that such extreme changes in temperature aren’t natural, but are directly due to human interference through climate change.
Loss of ecosystems
Australia is home to one of the largest and most magnificent ecosystems anywhere in the world. If climate change goes unchecked, we might end up losing much of the diversity of this region. The Great Barrier Reef is the best example of how climate change can impact fragile ecosystems, as it has experienced extreme levels of bleaching. If we experience rising temperatures of even 1 degree, the barrier reef may bleach 97% annually.
We’ve already lost countless species to climate change, and human interference in Australia and the potential impact is devastating. If we don’t make a change now, we can irreversibly alter the world for the generations after us. However, the picture isn’t all bleak. If we make significant lifestyle changes now, we can still have hope for the future.