The table below is from the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change's web site (Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Australia and New Zealand). It's quite startling. The Great Barrier Reef destruction is supported by Australia's leading scientists, read this transcript of an interview with one of them (particularly the answer to the last question).
Have a look at the the Australian Governments own, highly sanitised, web site. There is a conspicuous absence of negative information but the admissions are there.*
The biggest problem is that most of the scientific predictions are based on linear modelling, the weather is far more complex than this and we simply do not know if the changes to our planet will be gradual or violent. Saving the Great Barrier Reef should be reason enough alone to be driving an electric vehicle, let alone the completely unpredictable environmental future we are passing on to the next generations. Quite lazy and irresponsible really.
|Table 12-1: Non-linear or rapid climate change responses identified in this chapter.|
|System||Description of Change||Certainty and Timing||Section|
|Great Barrier Reef||Reef death or damage from coral bleaching
||Medium to high, next 20-50 years||12.4.7|
|Deep ocean||Chemical, dynamical, and biological changes from reduction in bottom water formation||Low to medium, century time scale||12.4.7|
|Southwest of western Australia||Rapid loss of species with narrow annual mean temperature ranges||High, next 20-50 years||12.4.2|
|Australian alpine ecosystems||Loss of species as a result of warming and reduced snow cover||Medium to high, next 50 years||12.4.4|
|Insect-borne disease spread||Conditions more favourable to mosquitoes and other disease vectors||High potential, growing vulnerability||12.7.1|
|Agriculture||Shift from net profit to loss as a result of increased frequency of bad years||High potential in some places, next 20-50 years||12.8.4|
|Agriculture||Shift from positive to negative balance between benefits of increased CO2 and losses from increasing aridity||High potential in parts of Australia, 50-100 years||12.5.2, 12.5.3|
|Built infrastructure||Change in magnitude and frequency of extremes to exceed design criteria, leading to rapid increases in potential damages to existing infrastructure||Medium to high in tropical coastal and riverine situations, next 30-50 years||12.6.1|
*I wrote this web page early in 2004 when the then conservative Federal Government was pretending to be concerned about something most of them did not believe in. Fortunately things have changed and the Government Greenhouse Website is now a much better resource for those who want to make informed decisions about Global Warming.