Climate change is a hot topic globally these days and it is interesting that all these 3 articles feature Australia which is one of the hottest countries in the world. These subjects are creating international interest on how Australia handles the effects of global warming and climate change on their coral reefs, temperate rain forests and animal populations. The Great Barrier Reef, although unique, is one of several coral reefs in the world suffering from bleaching and species endangerment. The pristine and beautiful temperate rain forests, such as Daintree in Queensland are also changing. The third article on the fascinating flying foxes (a very large bat) is a good example of a species which is affected by changes in their environment and habitat. What is happening in Australia has a rippling effect within the global population. Simply, it affects us all.
Climate Change & The Great Barrier Reef
- Further bleaching has taken place with a global coral bleaching event confirmed 2015 / 2016. Current survey reveals widespread coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef due to high temperatures. Updated information as of March 22, 2016
- In December 2015, the Carmichael mine has been given approval to go ahead by the Australian government
- Great Barrier Reef species more at risk
- Land clearing is compromising Australia’s environment progress
Coral reefs world-wide are being bleached by warming waters such as those on the Western Australia shores (CSIRO January 2016 news) and a cold-water coral bleaching occurred in Florida.
Why we need Trees
Since publishing this article in the past year:
- “Increasingly Severe Disturbances Weaken World’s Temperature Forests“
- Endangered species in temperate rain forests at increased risk such as Darwin’s fox in Chile
- “World deforestation slows down as more forests are better managed”
Climate Change & Flying Foxes in Australia – Part I & Part II
- Tens of thousands of flying foxes killed by heat wave in Australia. The bats do not do well in temperatures in the 40 degree celsius range.
- Flying foxes listed as vulnerable
- The flying foxes are gaining media coverage as bats are encroaching on human environments, cities and farms
~ “Climate Change” by P. Holper & S. Torok, 2008, CSIRO Publishing
- The bat numbers had grown considerably
- The bats did not migrate during the last winter but stayed all year
- The flying foxes are slowly moving closer to the city much to the aggravation of residents
In both Cairns, Queensland and Bairnsdale, Victoria the bats are denuding the leaves from the tops of the trees and causing damage to commercial fruit crops.
It is obvious from these changes in the past few short years that there has not, for the most part, been an improvement. Change is always difficult and there are multiple interests involved in these three areas. Because the situations are complex, is the very reason that action is required to stop irreversible damage to our environments and ultimately to many people, animal species and our economy. The best place to start is with ourselves and I urge you to become informed and involved.
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us,
the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
~ Rachel Carson “Silent Spring”
Links & References
- More on ocean bleaching event in 2015
- Exploring the Coral Reef – for Kids (Video)
- The Hawksbill tropical sea turtle – endangered
- Calculating Deforestation Figures for the Amazon as of January 2016
- Deforestation Indonesia
- Understanding Deforestation from WWF (World Wildlife Fund)
- Climate Change Impact on Species & Ecosystems in Canada
- Climate Change & Species News – IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
- “The Global Decline of Reptiles, on a global scale. Six significant threats to reptile populations are habitat loss and degradation, introduced invasive species, environmental pollution, disease, unsustainable use, and global climate change” – Butler University Libraries
- CSIRO “Species Everywhere are on the Move” including Flying foxes (April 2016)
- Ongoing concerns about laying off 350 staff at CSIRO Australia