Environmental Impacts Of Climate Change – Victoria’s climate has changed in recent decades, becoming warmer and drier. These changes are expected to continue in the future. The figure below shows current and projected climate change impacts for Victoria under a high emissions scenario.

Australian plants and animals are adapted to a high degree of variability. This includes cycles of hot and dry years followed by cool and wet years, and occasional fires and floods.

Environmental Impacts Of Climate Change

Environmental Impacts Of Climate Change

The fossil record shows that species can change in response to climate change. However, there are limits to how much change plants and animals can adapt to. Even the fastest rates of movement in the past are likely to be at least five times slower than the rate of projected climate change.

Pdf] Environmental And Socio Economic Impacts Of Global Climate Change: An Overview On Mitigation Approaches

The planet has gone through alternating warm and cold periods (ice ages) over the past 2.6 million years.

The transition from the end of the last “cold period” to the beginning of the “warm period” took 9000 years and involved a global warming of 5 °C.

This figure shows changes in ecosystem condition over time. Ecosystem health and functioning have been shown to decline dramatically when disturbance (black line) reaches an ecological threshold. After this point, the state of the ecosystem remains low, indicating a “new normal”. Adapted from Dana M

Over time, we will see some species disappear from certain places and be replaced by others (including weeds and pests) so that a new type of landscape emerges. Other changes will happen quickly over a few weeks or months.

How Do We Tackle The Unequal Impacts Of Climate Change?

Some ecosystems will no longer provide suitable habitat for species or may not provide the same ecosystem services.

We know that climate change is likely to cause changes in the distribution, composition, structure and functioning of ecosystems.

First, we don’t know (and may never know) a lot about plants and animals. For example, our understanding of the physiology, demography and genetics of many species is limited.

Environmental Impacts Of Climate Change

Physiology is the study of the functioning of plants and animals. Physiological characteristics (such as temperature tolerance) affect survival, growth, development, movement and reproduction. Species with a narrow tolerance to Al may be particularly sensitive to climate change.

What Is The Oil And Gas Industry Impact On Climate Change

Demography is the study of populations and their changes due to births, deaths and migration. Demographic variables, such as whether a plant survives to reproductive age, affect population size. Species whose young require special conditions for survival and growth may be particularly sensitive to climate change.

Genetics is the study of genes and how traits can be passed from generation to generation. Genes can determine whether an individual tolerates future climate conditions. Species without high genetic diversity may be particularly vulnerable to climate change.

The lack of key biological information makes it difficult to predict whether and how a species will be able to adapt to all the changing conditions.

We have a relatively good understanding of food webs (“what eats what” in an ecosystem) and how differences in fire frequency or average rainfall have affected the present-day distribution of plants and animals.

Environmental Impact Assessment Climate Change Resilience

We have a more limited understanding of other relationships, such as competition and pollination, and how they will be affected by climate change.

It graphically maps the complex relationships and considerations relevant to fox control. Adapted from DELWP Biodiversity Knowledge Framework Version 1 2020

This means that we cannot assume that the same type of ecosystem will be affected in exactly the same way across the country. Some of the forests along the Great Divide Mountains were heavily burned in 2019-2020.

Environmental Impacts Of Climate Change

Ecosystems have already been affected by stressors – such as habitat loss, invasive species and resource use – and will continue to be. The degree of impact will vary, even within the same type of ecosystem. Climate change will increase the impacts, but this will also vary by country.

Majority Of Us Adults Believe Climate Change Is Most Important Issue Today

Finally, the impact of climate change on nature cannot be considered in isolation. Major social changes, such as population shifts and technological advances, are likely to affect the natural. The exact nature and timing of these impacts are unknown.

Perhaps most importantly, we do not know how effectively global greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced over the next 20, 50 or 100 years. The level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and their peak will determine the rate of warming.

Average annual temperatures of Victoria in observations and models relative to the pre-industrial era, showing the highest (RCP 8.5) and lowest (RCP 2.6) emission pathways. The thicker lines show the 20-year mean temperature relative to the average of all models for each time period. (Source: CSIRO, 2019, Victorian Climate Projections 2019)

Although nature is complex and the impacts of climate change are uncertain, we do know a lot. We have already started to see the effects of climate change, especially in fires, drought, less snowfall and rising sea temperatures. These are likely to worsen over time.

Climate Change Impacts

For some ecosystems and species, we do not need to gather much more information to know how they are likely to be affected by climate change.

Climate change will affect Aboriginal culture and customs, including loss of land and hunting grounds, changes in fire regimes and fewer animals in the sea and streams.

In the Victorian Alps, snow cover has already declined by around 50 per cent since the 1960s. Modeled future climate change suggests that snowpack and amount are likely to decrease significantly in the future.

Environmental Impacts Of Climate Change

Large-scale canopy dieback in native forests is increasing and is likely to continue as the climate warms. This is likely to result in landscapes with fewer trees and a steady shift towards species more tolerant of hot and dry conditions.

Greenhouse Gases’ Effect On Climate

In recent years, snow tires have been found to be dying at an incredible rate due to attacks by Longicorn beetles, a native wood-boring insect. Snow gums are not usually threatened by these insects, but warmer, drier conditions help the bugs reproduce and grow rapidly. Eucalypts have amazing abilities to recover and regrow after fire and drought, but there are limitations.

Repeated drought and bushfires in many snow tire areas of Victoria have left them with no energy reserves to fight off relatively minor fungal or insect attacks.

Some plant species are adapted to normal wildfires, while others may not be able to recover if there is not enough time between fires. Alpine ash is an “obligate seeder,” a plant that regenerates from seed after a fire. Alpine autumns are not ripe enough for seed until they are 20 years old, so they cannot regenerate when fires are too frequent. Since 2002, most of Victoria’s alpine autumn has been burnt in several large fires and many mature trees have been lost. This means that there are few stands with trees old enough for seed. Repeated burning of alpine ash before it reaches maturity means it will not be able to regenerate naturally.

Fire and weather greatly affect the abundance of small mammals. Some species of small mammals, such as the southern brown bandicoot, require habitat that has not been burned for decades. As fires become more frequent due to climate change, the abundance of these mammal species is likely to decline.

Climate Change And Its Impact On The Environment

Without regular flows and floods, wetlands can be lost and replaced by dryland vegetation. The most vulnerable inland wetlands are likely to be those along floodplains in western Victoria and parts of the Goulburn River catchment, rain-filled wetlands in northern and western Victoria and wetlands in the High Alps.

Climate change is expected to reduce the frequency of flooding in major wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin, increasing the risk to colonial waterbird species such as egrets, egrets and cormorants.

Colonial waterfowl species that live in forested wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin typically require large floods to raise their young. Wetlands must be flooded long enough for the young to grow old enough to leave the nest. If the water level drops before the young are mature, they may be abandoned by their parents and die.

Environmental Impacts Of Climate Change

What may seem like small changes in precipitation can have a large impact on stream flow—generally, a 10% decrease in precipitation can result in a 20-30% decrease in flow. The impacts are unlikely to be the same – stream flow reductions since the start of the Millennium Drought (1997) have been greatest in the central west of the state.

Potential Impacts Of Global Climate Change On The Environment

As the amount of water in rivers and wetlands decreases, the temperature of the water rises and the level of dissolved oxygen decreases. Under these conditions, the risk of toxic algae blooms and fish kills increases.

The traits that make many weeds and pests invasive, such as being able to tolerate a wide range of conditions and being able to reproduce quickly, will help them take advantage of new opportunities.

Introduced plant species that are not currently considered weeds could become problems in the future due to changes.

Climate change will affect the distribution and abundance of species. This is difficult to predict, but species with limited dispersal capacity, small geographic ranges or restricted to specific habitats are likely to be particularly vulnerable.

Built Environment: Measuring Climate Change Impact

In mountainous areas, species are expected to migrate to higher elevations. However, most Victoria species are limited in their ability to do this because the land is relatively flat. Species already at high altitudes may not have anywhere

5 impacts of climate change, climate change africa impacts, climate change impacts canada, impacts of climate change, potential impacts of climate change, health impacts of climate change, climate change environmental impacts, economic impacts of climate change, social impacts of climate change, major impacts of climate change, climate change impacts, australia climate change impacts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *