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Image:Dust Storm Broken Hill 2009 by S.Olsen
How the climate change has been taken into account e.g. in Australia and South America from the point of view of human and society health, welfare and security?

Briefing Summary Review Australia and South America



Presentation Slideshow - Australia and South America
by Paula Williams and Susanne Olsen

Summary of Countries' responses to Climatic Change by Williams & Olsen 2009



January- February 2009 Australia:

This summer of 2009 has given us a terrifying glimpse into life on a warming planet. More than 200 people tragically passed away in the Victorian bushfires following an unprecedented 2 -week heat wave. In Queensland, the clean up is continuing after devastating floods affecting more than half the state and caused damage worth more than $210 million. Australia has always had harsh weather, but the truth is, climate change will bring more frequent and more extreme weather events. We can not erase the tragedies that have alread occured, but we do have a small window of opportunity to take action to prevent runaway climate change. We are in the midst of a climate emergency. it has been speculated that this year is our last chance to secure a strong global agreement to cut emissions. Our actions in 2009 will define the future that we leave our children.

How to avert Climate catastrophe we urgently need:

  • Australia to commit to halve its' greenhouse pollution within the next decade and stop undermining the global climate negotiations ahead of December's crucial meeting in Kobenhavn.
  • An energy revolution to replace polluting coal with 100% renewables within a decade-creating tens of thousands of green jobs eg green skills in the trades and general vocational educational and training (VET) sector.


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Great Barrier Reef
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Great Barrier Reef
International Polar Year spurs critical research on global warming – UN agency

On 25th February 2009 – Research produced during the International Polar Year 2007-2008 shows clearly that the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctic are losing mass, providing a critical boost to knowledge of global warming, the United Nations’ climate agency said today. A freshening of the bottom water near Antarctica is consistent with increased ice melt from that continent and could affect ocean circulation, the research finds. The report also identified large pools of carbon stored as methane in permafrost which, if thawed, threatens to become another massive source of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. This has enormous implications for the rest of the globe. This study will be concentrating on two countries to this effect Australia and South America.

Australia

By 2020, significant loss of biodiversity is projected to occur in some ecologically rich sites, including the New Zealand, Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Wet Tropics. By 2030, water security problems are projected to intensify in southern and eastern Australia and, in New Zealand, in Northland and some eastern regions.

By 2030, production from agriculture and forestry is projected to decline over much of southern and eastern Australia, and over parts of eastern New Zealand, due to increased drought and fire. However, in New Zealand, initial benefits are projected in some other regions.


By 2050, ongoing coastal development and population growth in some areas of Australia and New Zealand are projected to exacerbate risks from sea level rise and increases in the severity and frequency of storms and coastal flooding.


This has already started to occur in Australia - Compare sea surface temperature February /March 2001 to same time in 2009 /

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March 2001
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February 2001

















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February 2009
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March 2009

















Dramatic climate changes


Note in the diagram above from http://www.bom.gov.au/nmoc/archives/SST the differences in 8 years 2001to 2009 with the rise in sea surface temperature the red zone has expanded much further across and south than before. The yellow zones also much greater. In February and March in 2009 the northern Australia in Queensland floods while in south eastern Australia in Victoria burns .



South America


By mid-century, increases in temperature and associated decreases in soil water are projected to lead to gradual replacement of tropical forest by savanna in eastern Amazonia. Semi-arid vegetation will tend to be replaced by arid-land vegetation.

There is a risk of significant biodiversity loss through species extinction in many areas of tropical Latin America.


Productivity of some important crops is projected to decrease and livestock productivity to decline, with adverse consequences for food security. In temperate zones, soybean yields are projected to increase. Overall, the number of people at risk of hunger is projected to increase (TS; medium confidence)


Changes in precipitation patterns and the disappearance of glaciers are projected to significantly affect water availability for human consumption, agriculture and energy generation

Hotspots on the Globe

Figure 13.3. Predicted 2000-2010 South American and Central American deforestation hotspots and diffuse deforestation areas
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Reference for South America climate changes http://www.globalissues.org/news/2009/02/13/617

Argentina: (Example)


Rains have finally come to Argentina, but as in California, it may be too little, too late for many. The worst drought in a half-century has devastated this year’s corn crop, with yields down more than third from last year. An estimated 1.5 million cattle have been died. The economic tally? Over $5 billion. With 0.6% of the world's population, Argentina accounts for 0.5% of global emissions - an average of 3.7 tonnes of CO2 per person.

These emission levels are above those of Latin America and the Caribbean (table 4). If all countries in the world were to emit CO2 at levels similar to Argentina's, we would exceed our sustainable carbon budget by approximately 66%. High-income OECD countries meanwhile lead the league of "CO2 transgressors". With just 15% of the world’s population, they account for almost half of all emissions. If the entire world emitted like High-income OECD countries -an average of 13.2 tonnes of CO2 per person, we would be emitting 6 times our sustainable carbon budget. Argentina has signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol. As a non-Annex I Party to the Protocol, Argentina is not bound by specific targets for greenhouse gas emissions. See other South American statistics form the **Human Development Report** below

Table 4: Carbon dioxide emissions

Total emissions
(MtCO2)
CO2 emissions annual change
(%)
CO2 emissions share of world total
(%)
Population share
(%)
CO2 emissions per capita
(tCO2)
CO2 emitters
1990
2004
1990-2004
1990
2004
2004
1990
2004
United States
4,818.3
6,045.8
1.8
21.2
20.9
4.6
19.3
20.6
China
2,398.9
5,007.1
7.8
10.6
17.3
20.2
2.1
3.8
Russian Federation
1,984.1
1,524.1
-1.9
8.8
5.3
2.2
13.4
10.6
Mexico
413.3
437.8
0.4
1.8
1.5
1.6
5.0
4.2
Brazil
209.5
331.6
4.2
0.9
1.1
2.9
1.4
1.8
Argentina
109.7
141.7
2.1
0.5
0.5
0.6
3.4
3.7
Trinidad and Tobago
16.9
32.5
6.6
0.1
0.1
0.0
13.9
24.9
Paraguay
2.3
4.2
6.1
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.5
0.7
Bahamas
1.9
2.0
0.2
0.0
0.0
0.0
7.6
6.7
Haiti
1.0
1.8
5.5
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.1
0.2
Global aggregates
High-income OECD
10,055.4
12,137.5
1.5
44.3
41.9
14.3
12.0
13.2
Latin America and the Caribbean
1,087.7
1,422.6
2.2
4.8
4.9
8.5
2.5
2.6
Low human development
77.6
161.7
7.7
0.3
0.6
7.8
0.3
0.3
World
22,702.5
28,982.7
2.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
4.3
4.5

(Argentina was mentioned in the Report in page 94.)


Australia:


Roughly 40% of the harvest, including $13.5 in exports sold mostly to Asia and the Middle-East, comes from the drought-plagued Murray Darling basin. Irrigated crops such as rice and grapes have been particularly had hit, but even native eucalyptus trees have taken a hit, with a staggering 80% stressed or dead. Water reserves are at just 16% of capacity. To make matters worse, algae are blooming and fish are dying in the warmth of shallower waters.

With 0.3% of the world's population, Australia accounts for 1.1% of global emissions - an average of 16.2 tonnes of CO2 per person. These emission levels are above those of High-income OECD (table 3). If all countries in the world were to emit CO2 at levels similar to Australia's, we would exceed our sustainable carbon budget by approximately 628%. Australia has signed but not ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
Table 3: Carbon dioxide emissions

Total emissions
(MtCO2)
CO2 emissions annual change
(%)
CO2 emissions share of world total
(%)
Population share
(%)
CO2 emissions per
capita
(tCO2)
CO2 emitters
1990
2004
1990-2004
1990
2004
2004
1990
2004
United States
4,818.3
6,045.8
1.8
21.2
20.9
4.6
19.3
20.6
China
2,398.9
5,007.1
7.8
10.6
17.3
20.2
2.1
3.8
Russian Federation
1,984.1
1,524.1
-1.9
8.8
5.3
2.2
13.4
10.6
Japan
1,070.7
1,257.2
1.2
4.7
4.3
2.0
8.7
9.9
Australia
278.5
326.6
1.2
1.2
1.1
0.3
16.3
16.2
Portugal
42.3
58.9
2.8
0.2
0.2
0.2
4.3
5.6
Switzerland
42.7
40.4
-0.4
0.2
0.1
0.1
6.2
5.4
Luxembourg
9.9
11.3
1.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
25.9
25.0
Global aggregates
High-income OECD
10,055.4
12,137.5
1.5
44.3
41.9
14.3
12.0
13.2
Low human development
77.6
161.7
7.7
0.3
0.6
7.8
0.3
0.3
World
22,702.5
28,982.7
2.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
4.3
4.5

Reference: Australia was mentioned in the Report in pages 10, 41, 43, 48, 53, 54, 58, 61, 69, 104, 114, 122, 125, 128, 137, and 138.
IPCC - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tp-climate-change-water.htm


Argentina and Australia Relationship

Visit Outstanding issues


With the consolidation of democracy in Argentina bilateral relationships with Australia have been substantially strengthened. Significant opportunities were opened to explore for mutual political cooperation and the promotion of business. From the political point of view both countries share a common standing in defending the United Nations System, promoting human rights, participating in peace missions under the UN, and pursuing the disarming and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Both countries are active members of the Antarctic Treaty, The Valdivia Group for preservation of the environment in the Southern Hemisphere, and the Kyoto Conference on Climate Change. Both countries have similarities in their geography and present parallel patterns of historical evolution. From the geographical point of view both have huge territories, with different climates, from subtropical to temperate, with mining resources and fertile lands appropriate for agriculture and cattle breeding. Both have developed an important industrial and services infrastructure.



Peru and Chile Forecast


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Niño1+2

The Niño1+2 SST anomaly index is an indicator of far eastern tropical Pacific El Niño conditions, off the coasts of Peru and Chile. It is calculated with SSTs in the box 90°W - 80°W, 10°S - 0°.


Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)


On the regional level, via US State Department, the programme supported bi-lateral climate agreements with Australia and New Zealand for the Pacific Islands regional GCOS programme. With the Pacific being of critical importance to climate (e.g., source of El Nino) and given the general sparseness of data from this critical climate region, a strong regional program in support of GCOS is a benefit to the global climate observing effort.

The requirements of GCOS for climate observations are specified by the following scientific panels:

  • Surface, upper air, marine, meteorology and atmospheric chemistry composition - Atmospheric Observations Panel for Climate (AOPC)
  • Ocean climate - Ocean Observing Panel for Climate (OOPC)
  • Terrestrial climate - Terrestrial Observation Panel for Climate (TOPC)

Visit : GSN/GUAN System Improvement

http://www.wmo.ch/pages/prog/gcos/index.php?name=nationalactivities Australia's National representative Michael Coughlan


Conclusion: Climate Change and Human Health
The world population is encountering unfamiliar human-induced changes in the lower and middle atmospheres and worldwide depletion of various other natural systems (e.g. soil fertility, aquifers, ocean fisheries and biodiversity in general). Despite early recognition that such changes would affect economic activities, infrastructure and managed ecosystems, there has been less awareness that such large-scale environmental change would weaken the supports for healthy life. Fortunately that is now beginning to change.


This diagram represents a comprehensive relationship between global climate change and human population health.
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Global Climate Change causing extremities in Weather Patterns

Global climate change is likely to change the frequency of extreme weather events: tropical cyclones may increase as sea surface waters warm; floods may increase as the hydrological cycle intensifies; and heat-waves may increase in mid-continental locations. As discussed in detail in later chapters, a change in the frequency and intensity of heat-waves and cold spells would affect seasonal patterns of morbidity and mortality. The production of various air pollutants and of allergenic spores and pollens would be affected by warmer and wetter conditions. Climate change also is expected to affect health via various indirect pathways, including the patterns of infectious diseases; the
yield of food-producing systems on land and at sea; the availability of freshwater; and, by contributing to biodiversity loss, may destabilize
and weaken the ecosystem services upon which human society depends

Climate Change on Health Issues

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Resources:


Visit:
World Health Organisation The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Eating right, exercising, and sleeping well play an equal role in the prevention of infections and diseases. However, a good sense of self, a loving support network, and the potential for continued personal growth is also important to our overall wellbeing.











References:


Case studies:

1 Woodward, A. et al. Tropospheric ozone: respiratory effects and Australian airquality goals. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 49: 401–407 (1995).
2 Petroeschevsky, A. et al. Associations between outdoor air pollution and hospital admissions in Brisbane, Australia. Archives of Environmental Health 56: 37–52(2001).
3. Pittock, A.B. Coral reef and environmental change: adaptation to what? American Zoologist 39: 10–29 (1999
4.Parmenter, R.R. et al. Incidence of plague associated with increased winter-spring precipitation in New Mexico. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 61814–821 (1999).),
5.Toledo-Tito, J. Impacto en la Salud del Fenomenno de El Niño 1982–83 en le Peru.In: Proceedings of the Health Impacts of the El Niño Phenomenon, Central American Workshop held in San Jose Costa Rica 3–5 November 1997. Washington, DC, USA, Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization, (in Spanish),1999.

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