Thursday, November 14, 2013

Environment of Australia, The Australian environment ranges from virtually pristine Antarctic territory and rainforests to degraded industrial areas of major cities. 40 distinct ecoregions have been identified across the Australian mainland and islands. Central Australia is very dry due to a dry climate. HP 3MLX8TATP40 CPU Fan The interior has a number of deserts while most of the coastal areas are populated. Northern Australia experiences tropical cyclones while much of the country is prone to periodic drought. Agriculture and mining are the predominate land uses which affect the Australian environment. HP Pavilion dv7-1240us CPU Fan The management of the impact on the Australian environment from the mining industry, the protection of the Great Barrier Reef, forests and native animals are recurring issues of conservation. Major environmental issues in Australia include whaling, logging of old growth forest, irrigation and its impact on theMurray River,  DELL yy529 CPU Fan Darling River and Macquarie Marshes, acid sulfate soils, soil salinity, land clearing, soil erosion, uranium mining and nuclear waste, creation of marine reserves [1], air quality in major cities and around polluting industries and infrastructure, pesticide and herbicide impacts and growing of genetically modified food. Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E CPU Fan Increased coal mining in Australia is contentious because of the effects of global warming on Australia, emissions to air from coal burning power stations, dust, subsidence, impact on rivers like the Hunter River and other water users, failure to adequately restore mined areas, and lack of sustainability. SONY Vaio VGN-CR407E CPU Fan As an example, in 1999 Australia's energy consumption of coal and coal products were 47,364 [2](measured in thousand metric tons oil equivalent), compared to that of the world's energy consumption of coal and coal products which totaled 2,278,524 (also measured in thousand metric tons oil equivalent). HP Pavilion dv6-1101au CPU Fan Climate change and global warming are of particular concern because of the likely effects of global warming on agriculture, the Great Barrier Reef and tourism industry, human health through mosquito borne crydiologicyticlogy [3]. Sea level rise could also have a profound impact on under leveled and poorer communities and waterfront suburbs. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan The range of rises forecast by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report would be sufficient to have impacts in many areas, and if the Greenland ice cap melts faster than forecast, it could have a disastrous impact. In urban areas noise and odour are major sources of complaints to environmental protection authorities. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan Environmental issues in Australia describes a number of environmental issues which affect theenvironment of Australia. There are a range of such issues, some of them relating to conservation in Australia while others, for example the deteriorating state of Murray-Darling Basin, have a direct and serious effect on human land use and the economy. HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan Many human activities including the use of natural resources have a direct impact on the Australianenvironment.Climate change is now a major political talking point in Australia in the last two decades. Persistent drought and resulting water restrictions during the first decade of the twenty-first century are an example of natural events attributed by the mainstream media to climate change.[ HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan Australia ranks within the top ten countries globally with respect to greenhouse gas emissions per capita.[5] The current federal and state governments have all publicly stated their belief that climate change is being caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan Vocal minority groups within the population campaign against mining and coal-fired power stations in Australia, and such demonstrations are widely reported by the mainstream media. Similarly, vocal minority groups concurrently oppose wind energy schemes, despite being 'carbon neutral', HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan on the grounds of local visual and noise impact and concern for the currently high cost and low reliability of wind energy.Despite the publication of the Garnaut report and the Green Paper on the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, public belief in anthropogenic climate change has noticeably eroded following the leaking of e-mails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit.[9][10] HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan\ There is claimed to be a net benefit to Australia in stabilising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 450ppm CO2 eq[11] in line with the prevailing political stance. Public disagreement with this opinion is generally dismissed as expression of vested interests, for example from the coal industry. ACER Aspire 4743 CPU Fan Australia is a major exporter and consumer of coal, the combustion of which liberates CO2. Consequently, in 2003 Australia was the eighth highest emitter of CO2gases per capita in the world liberating 16.5 tonnes per capita.[12] Australia is claimed to be one of the countries most at risk from climate change according to the Stern report. HP Pavilion dv6-2170us CPU Fan Most of Australia's demand for electricity depends upon coal-fired thermal generation,[13] owing to the plentiful indigenous coal supply, limited potential for hydro-electric generation and political unwillingness to exploit indigenous uranium resources (although Australia accounted for the world's second highest production of uranium in 2005 [14]) Toshiba Satellite L675-S7018 CPU Fan to fuel a 'carbon neutral' domestic nuclear energy program. Conservation in Australia is an issue of state and federal policy. Australia is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, with a large portion of species endemic to Australia. Preserving this wealth of biodiversity is important for future generations. ASUS F80Q CPU Fan A key conservation issue is the preservation of biodiversity, especially by protecting the remaining rainforests. The destruction of habitat by human activities, including land clearing, remains the major cause of biodiversity loss in Australia. The importance of the Australian rainforests to the conservation movement is very high. ACER TravelMate 4200 CPU Fan Australia is the only western country to have large areas of rainforest intact. Forests provide timber, drugs, and food and should be managed to maximize the possible uses. Currently, there are a number of environmental movements and campaigners advocating for action on saving the environment, one such campaign is the Big Switch and I Love Earth. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan Land management issues including clearance of native vegetation, reafforestation of once-cleared areas, control of exotic weeds and pests, expansion of dryland salinity, and changed fire regimes. Intensification of resource use in sectors such as forestry, fisheries, and agriculture are widely reported to contribute to biodiversity loss in Australia. HP G70-120EA CPU Fan Coastal and marine environments also have reduced biodiversity from reduced water quality caused by pollution and sediments arising from human settlements and agriculture. In central New South Wales where there are large plains of grassland, problems have risen from—unusual to say—lack of land clearing. Toshiba Satellite A300-034 CPU Fan The Daintree Rainforest, a tropical rainforest near Daintree, Queensland covering around 1200 square kilometres, is threatened by logging, development, mining and the effects of the high tourist numbers. Over a hundred species of fauna are currently under serious threat of extinction. HP 606609-001 CPU Fan Compaq Presario CQ60-301sl CPU Fan The plight of some of these species receives more attention than others and recently the focus of many conservation organisations has been the critically endangered Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, the endangered Tasmanian Devil,[16] Northern Tiger Quoll, South Eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, TOSHIBA Satellite L300 CPU Fan Southern Cassowary, Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, Leadbeater's Possum and Southern Corroboree frog. Australia has a poor record of conservation of native fauna. The extinction of Australian megafauna is attributed to the arrival of humans and since European settlement, 23 birds, 4 frogs, and 27 mammal species are also known to have become extinct. ASUS Eee PC 701 CPU Fan One of the notable issues with marine conservation in Australia is the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef's environmental pressures include water quality from runoff, climate change and mass coral bleaching, cyclic outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish, overfishing, and shipping accidents. Compaq Presario CQ60-305sa CPU Fan Whaling in Australia took place from colonisation in 1788. In 1979 Australia terminated whaling and committed to whale protection. The main varieties hunted were Humpback, Blue, Right and Sperm Whales. While there have been no oil spill environmental disasters of the scale of the Exxon Valdez in the country, HP 637607-001 CPU Fan Australia has a large oil industry and there have been several large oil spills [1]. Spills remain a serious threat to the marine environment and Australian coastline. The largest spill to date was the Kirki tanker in 1991 which dropped 17,280 tonnes of oil off the coast of Western Australia. HP Pavilion dv7-3067nr CPU Fan In March 2009, the 2009 southeast Queensland oil spill occurred, where 200,000 litres were spilled from the MV Pacific Adventurer spilling more than 250 tonnes of oil, 30 tonnes of fuel and other toxic chemicals on Brisbane's suburban beaches. Premier Anna Bligh described the spill as "worst environmental disaster Queensland has ever seen".HP Pavilion dv5-1210ez CPU Fan A serious issue to the Australian marine environment is the dumping of rubbish from ships. There have been a number of cases,[19] particularly involving the navy of Australian and other countries polluting Australian waters including the dumping of chemical warfare agents. Compaq Presario CQ50-211nr CPU Fan Recently documented cases include the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in 2006 which was found to be dumping rubbish off the shores of Moreton Island.[20] In Victoria, a large number of toxic drums containing 1,2-Dichlorobenzene xylenol, a substance very toxic to aquatic creatures washed up on beaches during May 2009 presumably fallen off a passing container ship. HP G56-114SA CPU Fan Australia's geographical isolation has resulted in the evolution of many delicate ecological relationships that are sensitive to foreign invaders and in many instances provided no natural predators for many of the species subsequently introduced. Introduced plants that have caused widespread problems are lantana and the prickly pear bush. The introduction and spread of animals such as the cane toad or rabbit can disrupt the existing balances between populations and develop into environmental problems. SONY Vaio VGN-CR21Z/N CPU Fan The introduction of cattle into Australia and to a lesser extent the dingo, are other examples of species that have changed the landscape. In some cases the introduction of new species can lead to plagues and the extinction of endemic species. HP Pavilion dv7-4060eo CPU Fan The introduced species red fox has single-handedly caused the extinction of several species. Tasmania takes the threat of red fox introduction so seriously that it has a government sponsored taskforce to prevent fox populations from taking hold on the island. Toshiba Satellite M70-252 CPU Fan In the prehistory of Australia the indigenous Australians used fire-stick farming which was an early form of land clearing which caused long term changes to the ecology. With European colonisation land clearing continued on a larger scale for agriculture - particularly for cattle, cotton and wheat production. Toshiba Satellite A100-455 CPU Fan Since European settlement a total of 13% of native vegetation cover has been lost. The extinction of 20 different mammals, 9 bird and 97 plant species have been partially attributed to land clearing. Land clearing is a major source of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, and contributed to approximately 12 percent of Australia’s total emissions in 1998. HP Pavilion dv5-2112br CPU Fan The consequences of land clearing include dryland salinity and soil erosion. These are a major concern to the landcare movement in Australia. The clearing of native vegetation is controlled by Federal laws (indirectly), State law and local planning instruments. The precise details of regulation of vegetation clearing differ according to the location where clearing is proposed. DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan Australia is one of the most urbanized countries in the world. Many Australian cities have large urban footprints and are characterised by an unsustainable low density urban sprawl. This places demand on infrastructure and services which contributes to the problems of land clearing, pollution, HP Pavilion dv6-3299en CPU Fan transport related emissions, energy consumption, invasive species,automobile dependency and urban heat islands. The urban sprawl continues to increase at a rapid rate in most Australian cities, particularly the state capital cities, all of which (with the exception of Hobart) are metropoleis. SONY Vaio VGN-NW11Z/T CPU Fan In some centres, such as Sydney and Greater Western Sydney,[22]Greater Melbourne[23] and South East Queensland[24] large metropolitan conurbations threaten to extend for hundreds of kilometres and based on current population growth rates are expected to become megacities in the 21st century. Most Australian cities population growth is a result of migration in contrast to the Birth rate and fertility rate in Australia, which is contributing to the ongoing trend of urbanisation. Toshiba Satellite L550-20W CPU Fan In recent years, some cities have implemented transit-oriented development strategies to curb the urban sprawl. Notable examples include Melbourne 2030,[25] South East Queensland Regional Plan and the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy. There are also population decentralisation programs at state and federal levels aimed at HP Pavilion dv7-4183sf CPU Fan shifting populations out of the major centres and stemming the drivers to rapid urbanisation. Albury-Wodonga was part of the federal government's program of decentralisation begun in the 1970s, which has at times had relocation policies for immigration. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan The Victorian government has run a decentralisation program since the 1960s, having had a ministerial position appointed and ongoing promotional and investment programs for stimulating growth in Regional Victoria. However policy has swung over the decades, primarily due to local development priorities and agendas and a lack of federal co-ordination to the problem. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan The protection of waterways in Australia is a major concern for various reasons including habitat and biodiversity, but also due to use of the waterways by humans. The Murray-Darling Basin is under threat due to irrigation in Australia, causing high levels of salinity which affect agriculture and biodiversity in New South Wales, HP G62-244CA CPU Fan Victoria and South Australia. These rivers are also affected by pesticide run-off and drought. Climate change has become a major issue in Australia due to drastic climate events since the turn of the 21st century that have focused government and public attention.[1] HP Pavilion dv7-3190ei CPU Fan Rainfall in Australia has increased slightly over the past century, although there is little or no trend in rainfall in the Western Plateau and the Central Lowlands of Australia.[2] Water sources in the southeastern areas of Australia have depleted due to increasing population in urban areas (rising demand) coupled with climate change factors such as persistent prolonged drought (diminishing supply). HP G62-244CA CPU Fan At the same time, Australia continues to have the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions.The federal government and all state governments (New South Wales,[4] Victoria,[5] Queensland,[6] South Australia,[7] Western Australia,[8] ASUS A6000R CPU Fan Tasmania,[9] Northern Territories[10] and Australian Capital Territory[11]) have explicitly recognised that climate change is being caused by greenhouse gas emissions, in conformity with the scientific opinion on climate change. Sectors of the population are actively campaigning against new coal mines and coal fired power stations because of their concern about the effects of global warming on Australia.[12][13][ HP Pavilion dv7-6011sg CPU Fan 14] There is expected to be a net benefit to Australia of stabilising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 450ppm CO2 eq. Paleoclimatic records indicate that during glacial maxima Australia was extremely arid,[16] with plant pollen fossils showing deserts extending as far as northern Tasmania Toshiba Satellite L300D-01P CPU Fan and a vast area of less than 2 percent vegetation cover over all of South Australia and adjacent regions of other states. Forest cover was largely limited to sheltered areas of the east coast and the extreme southwest of Western Australia. During these glacial maxima the climate was also much colder and windier than today.[17] Compaq Presario CQ60-409CA CPU Fan Minimum temperatures in winter in the centre of the continent were as much as 9°C (16°F) lower than they are today. Hydrological evidence for dryness during glacial maxima can also be seen at major lakes in Victoria's Western District, which dried up between around 20,000 and 15,000 years ago and re-filled from around 12,000 years ago.[18] HP Mini 110-3010sf CPU Fan As one moves into the Holocene, evidence for climate change declines. During the early Holocene, there is evidence from Lake Frome in South Australia and Lake Woods near Tennant Creek that the climate between 8,000 and 9,500 years ago and again from Toshiba Satellite M70-142 CPU Fan 7,000 to 4,200 years ago was considerably wetter than over the period of instrumental recording since about 1885.[19] The research that gave these records also suggested that the rainfall flooding Frome was definitely summer-dominant rainfall because of pollen counts from grass species. DELL Inspiron E1505 CPU Fan Other sources[20] suggest that the Southern Oscillation may have been weaker during the early Holocene and rainfall over northern Australia less variable as well as higher. The onset of modern conditions with periodic wet season failure is dated ar around 4,000 years before the present. HP 532613-001 CPU Fan In southern Victoria, there is evidence for generally wet conditions except for a much drier spell between about 3,000 and 2,100 years before the present,[21]when it is believed Lake Corangamite fell to levels well below those observed between European settlement and the 1990s. HP Envy 14-1080eo CPU Fan After this dry period, Western District lakes returned to their previous levels fairly quickly and by 1800 they were at their highest levels in the forty thousand years of record available. Elsewhere, data for most of the Holocene are deficient, ACER TravelMate 5230 CPU Fan largely because methods used elsewhere to determine past climates (like tree-ring data) cannot be used in Australia owing to the character of its soils and climate. Recently, however, coral cores have been used to examine rainfall over those areas of Queenslanddraining to the Great Barrier Reef.[22] Lenovo 3000 G430 CPU Fan The results do not provide conclusive evidence of man-made climate change, but do suggest the following: There has been a marked increase in the frequency of very wet years in Queensland since the end of the Little Ice Age, a theory supported by there being no evidence for any large Lake Eyre filling during the LIA. ASUS EEE PC 1215N CPU Fan

The dry era of the 1920s and 1930s may well have been the driest period in Australia over the past four centuries.

A similar study, not yet published, is planned for coral reefs in Western Australia. There exist records of floods in a number of rivers, such as the Hawkesbury, from the time of first settlement. Dell Vostro 3750 CPU Fan These suggest that, for the period beginning with the first European settlement, the first thirty-five years or so were wet and were followed by a much drier period up to the mid-1860s,[23] when usable instrumental records start. Although rain gauges were installed privately by some of the earliest settlers, Toshiba Satellite L500-018 CPU Fan the first instrumental climate records in Australia were not compiled until 1840 at Port Macquarie. Rain gauges were gradually installed at other major centres across the continent, with the present gauges in Melbourne and Sydney dating from 1858 and 1859 respectively. COMPAQ Presario CQ42-116TU CPU Fan In eastern Australia, where the continent's first large-scale agriculture began, a large number of rain gauges were installed during the 1860s and by 1875 a comprehensive network had been developed in the "settled" areas of that state.[24] With the spread of the pastoral industry to the north of the continent during this period, HP Pavilion dv6-2115eg CPU Fan rain gauges were established extensively in newly settled areas, reaching Darwin by 1869, Alice Springs by 1874, and the Kimberley, Channel Countryand Gulf Savannah by 1880.By 1885,[25] most of Australia had a network of rainfall reporting stations adequate to give a good picture of climatic variability over the continent. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan The exceptions were remote areas of western Tasmania, the extreme southwest of Western Australia, Cape York Peninsula,[26] the northern Kimberley and the deserts of northwestern South Australia and southeastern Western Australia. In these areas good-quality climatic data were not available for quite some time after that. HP 646578-001 CPU Fan Temperature measurements, although made at major population centres from days of the earliest rain gauges, were generally not established when rain gauges spread to more remote locations during the 1870s and 1880s. Although they gradually caught up in number with rain gauges, SONY VAIO PCG-6L2L CPU Fan many places which have had rainfall data for over 125 years have only a few decades of temperature records. Australia's instrumental record from 1885 to the present shows the following broad picture: Toshiba Satellite X205-S9349 CPU Fan Conditions from 1885 to 1898 were generally fairly wet, though less so than in the period since 1968. The only noticeably dry years in this era were 1888 and 1897. Although some coral core data[27] suggest that 1887 and 1890 were, with 1974, the wettest years across the continent since settlement, rainfall data for Alice Springs,  DELL yy529 CPU Fan then the only major station covering the interior of the Northern Territory and Western Australia, strongly suggest that 1887 and 1890 were overall not as wet as 1974 or even 2000. In New South Wales and Queensland, however, the years 1886-1887 and 1889-1894 were indeed exceptionally wet. HP Pavilion dv7-3020es CPU Fan The heavy rainfall over this period has been linked with a major expansion of the sheep population[28] and February 1893 saw the disastrous 1893 Brisbane flood. A drying of the climate took place from 1899 to 1921, though with some interruptions from wet El Niño years, especially between 1915 and early 1918 and in 1920-1921, HP G62-369TX CPU Fan when the wheat belt of the southern interior was drenched by its heaviest winter rains on record. Two majorEl Niño events in 1902 and 1905 produced the two driest years across the whole continent, whilst 1919 was similarly dry in the eastern States apart from the Gippsland. HP 13.V1.BJ195.F.GN CPU Fan The period from 1922 to 1938 was exceptionally dry, with only 1930 having Australia-wide rainfall above the long-term mean and the Australia-wide average rainfall for these seventeen years being 15 to 20 percent below that for other periods since 1885. Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7016 CPU Fan This dry period is attributed in some sources to a weakening of the Southern Oscillation[29] and in others to reduced sea surface temperatures.[30] Temperatures in these three periods were generally cooler than they are currently, with 1925 having the coolest minima of any year since 1910. HP Pavilion dv7-1451nr CPU Fan However, the dry years of the 1920s and 1930s were also often quite warm, with 1928 and 1938 having particularly high maxima. The period from 1939 to 1967 began with an increase in rainfall: 1939, 1941 and 1942 were the first close-together group of relatively wet years since 1921. HP G62-a57SG CPU Fan From 1943 to 1946, generally dry conditions returned, and the two decades from 1947 saw fluctuating rainfall. 1950, 1955 and 1956 were exceptionally wet except 1950 and 1956 over arid and wheatbelt regions of Western Australia. 1950 saw extraordinary rains in central New South Wales and most of Queensland: SONY Vaio VGN-NR31S/S CPU Fan IBM 91P9252 CPU Fan Dubbo's 1950 rainfall of 1,329 mm (52 inches) can be estimated to have a return period of between 350 and 400 years, whilst Lake Eyre filled for the first time in thirty years. In contrast, 1951, 1961 and 1965 were very dry, with complete monsoon failure in 1951/1952 and extreme drought in the interior during 1961 and 1965. Toshiba Satellite M70-122 CPU Fan Temperatures over this period initially fell to their lowest levels of the 20th century, with 1949 and 1956 being particularly cool, but then began a rising trend that has continued with few interruptions to the present. Since 1968, Australia's rainfall has been 15 percent higher than between 1885 and 1967. SONY UDQFWPH22FQU CPU Fan The wettest periods have been from 1973 to 1975 and 1998 to 2001, which comprise seven of the thirteen wettest years over the continent since 1885. Overnight minimum temperatures, especially in winter, have been markedly higher than before the 1960s, with 1973, 1980, 1988, 1991, 1998 and 2005 outstanding in this respect. HP Pavilion dv6-2150ei CPU Fan There has been a marked and beneficial decrease in the frequency of frost[31] across Australia According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia’s annual mean temperature for 2009 was 0.90°C above the 1961-90 average, making it the nation’s second warmest year since high-quality records began in 1910. HP G42-367TU CPU Fan Within Australia, patterns of precipitation show regional variation. Because of the general spatial coherence of rainfall over most of Australia, these variations have tended to affect small areas, but because these are generally the most populated parts of the continent, they are still of considerable importance. Toshiba Satellite P100-238 CPU Fan In the South-West Land Division, rainfall during the May to August rainy season has declined by 20 percent since 1968, after being at its highest from 1915 to 1947.[33] Floods that were once common have virtually disappeared. Aided by increased winter temperatures and evaporation, runoff has declined over the past forty years by as much as sixty percent.[ ACER Aspire 5739 CPU Fan

In southern Victoria, rainfall since 1997 has declined by as much as 30 percent, with Melbourne having not once exceeded its 1885 to 1996 average since 1997.

In contrast, the 1950s in southern Victoria were consistently wet, with Western District lakes returning during the decade to levels seen before the 1850s and Corangamite almost overflowing, as it is believed to have done during the Little Ice Age.[ IBM ThinkPad T40 2678 CPU Fan The eastern part of Tasmania has also seen a major decline in rainfall since the middle 1970s. In Hobart, the annual rainfall has declined by about one-sixth since that time, and not one of the nineteen wettest years since 1882 has occurred since 1976.[ IBM Thinkpad T43 CPU Fan In Gippsland, the coastal areas of New South Wales, and southern Queensland, the driest period since 1885 was not from 1922 to 1938, but approximately from 1901 to 1910, when the average annual rainfall at Sydney was 20 percent below its long-term mean. IBM ThinkPad T43 2668 CPU Fan

There was a slight increase in rainfall from 1916 to 1934 and then a decline to 1901-1910 levels from 1936 to 1948, before a return to the pre-1900 "flood-dominated" climate regime occurred in 1949.[

In northwestern Australia, rainfall was moderate from 1885 to about 1925, IBM ThinkPad T43 1871 CPU Fan then declined from the late 1920s to the late 1960s (with very dry conditions during the 1950s), followed by rapid increases since then. In Darwin, six of the seven wettest wet seasons have occurred since 1995, and the major droughts that once affected the region frequently have virtually disappeared since 1971. ACER Travelmate 8104WLMI CPU Fan

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