Narooma on NSW south coast revealed as a hot spot for global ocean warming. A University of New South Wales study has found that the waters off the NSW far south coast have warmed at more than three times the global average.
Key points: Narooma coastal waters have warmed an average of .48 degrees per decadeLittle penguins nest each spring and summer at Montague IslandFluctuations in sea surface temperature affect the adult penguins' ability to find food for their chicks The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, analysed more than 10 years of water temperature readings from five sites adjacent to the East Australian Current, combined with 25 years of satellite data.
It revealed that coastal waters at Narooma, about 280 kilometres south of Sydney, have warmed an average 0.48 degrees per decade, more than double the rate of temperature rises at sites in North Stradbroke Island and Coffs Harbour. The East Australian Current (EAC) is the largest ocean current close to Australia, bringing the warm waters of the Coral Sea southward. Marine heatwaves. Scientists studying krill want to know how the tiny crustaceans are affected by climate change and fishing. They are known as the building blocks of the ocean and great swarms of them can even be seen from space.
Key points: Krill are regarded as one of the "keystone species" of the Southern OceanThe krill fishing industry is growingA research project will look at how the pressures of fishing and climate change affect krill But not only are these tiny krill the favourite snack of whales, there is a growing fishing industry catching them for aquaculture feed and high value krill oil. Satellites capture formation of enormous iceberg A74 on Antarctica's Brunt Ice Shelf - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Family honoured for 100 years of service to Bureau of Meteorology say past 10 years one of the driest. A Queensland family honoured for 100 years of service to the Bureau of Meteorology as rain observers say the past 10 years have been the driest on record.
Key points: Farmers in the Southern Downs are dealing with declining winter rainfallGerald Walsh says things do not look like they are going to get any easierClimate scientist Chelsea Jarvis says that multi-year droughts "need to be considered a regular thing" Overlooking the old family farmhouse on Gerard Walsh's farm is a hill covered in hundreds of dead ironbarks. "Two years ago, they would have all been alive and flourishing. Basically every tree has died," Mr Walsh said. The tragedy of Tasmania's underwater kelp forests - Science. FOI documents show Darwin's $2.7m shade structure reduces heat by less than 1C. A $2.7 million government-funded shade structure in Darwin's CBD has cooled temperatures underneath it by less than 1 degree Celsius in the two years since it was built, documents obtained by the ABC reveal.
An $80,000 study assessing the shade structure's effectiveness has been obtained through FOIData from mid-2020 shows it reduced average peak heat by 2 per cent, from 32.1C to 31.4CResearchers say the structure's cooling performance will improve once the vines are fully grown The 55-metre structure on Cavenagh Street was completed in late 2018 as part of the NT Government's plan to transform Darwin into "a cool, tropical, world-renowned destination", after a 2017 heat study revealed some surfaces in the city were hitting temperatures between 45C and 67C.
At the time, Chief Minister Michael Gunner described Cavenagh Street as "a river of fire" and said a reduction of between 2C and 4C was necessary to make Darwin "walkable and liveable". NSW Irrigators' Council calls for honest conversation as its research shows inflows to river systems have halved. The New South Wales Irrigators' Council has found climate change is taking its toll on water availability with inflows almost halving over the past 20 years.
Key points: Climate change is halving water inflows, according to 20 years of records from Water NSWNSW Irrigators' Council says an "open and honest" conversation is needed about how water is used and storedIt is calling for water held by governments to be opened up to scrutiny Chief executive officer Claire Miller called for an open and honest conversation to be had about about general security water allocations and how much water was held back to safeguard the river in times of drought.
Victoria's heatwave weather conditions spark most significant fire risk this season. The next 24 hours will be the most challenging fire conditions for Victoria in recent times, emergency officials say, as heatwave conditions continue to build across south-eastern Victoria.
Hot northerly winds are expected to develop ahead of the cool change, elevating the fire riskTotal fire bans are in place in six forecast districtsA squally cool change is forecast to hit Melbourne around 5:00pm With temperatures soaring into the low 40s in the north of the state and the high 30s in Melbourne, it is set to be the warmest period since January 2020. A heat health alert is in place for all of Victoria except the South West and Wimmera. Researchers rejoice at rediscovery of tiny Tasmanian crayfish thought to be extinct. It was relatively early in his career when crayfish expert Alastair Richardson encountered the short-tailed rain crayfish.
Key points: The short-tailed rain crayfish endemic to Tasmania was thought to be extinctA research trip recently found six crayfish living in the creeks leading to Lake BurburyThe main threat the animals could now face is climate change He found a few back in the 70s, while doing some collecting in the old King River Valley in Tasmania's remote west. He bottled the specimen all those years ago, but after decades of no sightings, the small cray was thought to be extinct.
"We had [found] six animals, they came from three localities, and two at that time were under Lake Burbury and so the questions was, 'does it still exist? '" But a miraculous find has revealed the elusive critter is still scurrying about in the creeks that lead to Lake Burbury, a Hydro Electric dam, close to where they had been found all those years ago.
Climate change pushed ocean temperatures to record high in 2020, study finds. The world's oceans absorbed 20 sextillion joules of heat due to climate change in 2020 and warmed to record levels, a study has found.
Key points: Last year the world's oceans absorbed 20 zettajoules of heatHigher ocean temperatures can lead to an increase in extreme weatherSeas are warming at twice the global average in Australia's south-east That quantity — expressed numerically as 20,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules — is equivalent to the energy from 10 Hiroshima atomic bombs being released every second of the year. Report co-author Kevin Trenberth, from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, said oceans absorbed more than 90 per cent of the solar energy trapped by greenhouse gases. Meet the creepy critters of the Southern Ocean's 'twilight zone' They are slimy, some of them are transparent and kind of creepy and you wouldn't want to encounter one on an ocean swim, but luckily you never will.
Key points: A CSIRO voyage to the Southern Ocean has examined the creatures that live in the ocean's 'twilight zone'Scientists hope their findings will help them better understand the ocean's ability to store carbonThe researchers are also looking at how climate change is impacting its carbon storage These are the creatures of the Southern Ocean's "twilight zone" — a 200- to 1,000-metre layer of water that lies just beyond the reach of light. The researchers who collected them have just returned from a six-week trip on the CSIRO's Investigator research ship. But the trip was about a lot more than collecting the weird and wacky marine life. "The voyage focused on creatures that are called micronekton, for example small fish and squid, crustaceans, and jellyfish," said marine biologist Svenja Halfter.
"It looks like a snow shake [globe]. Bushfires help Christmas bells thrive, study says, but climate change could threaten their future. A study spanning more than three decades has found that fires can benefit an iconic Australian native that became a symbol of recovery and hope after the New South Wales Mid North Coast was razed in 2019.
Key points: Co-researcher Susan Rutherford said the benefit of bushfires for Christmas Bells was not straightforward As fire seasons are forecast to intensify, more studies will be neededDr Rutherford hoped the study would encourage other scientists to conduct-long term research into native flora The bright red and yellow Christmas bells flower, Blandfordia grandiflora, bloomed from burnt earth across the region and other fire-affected areas between Sydney, Brisbane and along the NSW tablelands. Experienced growers and botanists have long suspected that bushfires enhanced the protected wildflower's bright blooms, but scientist Susan Rutherford said a long-term study she co-authored confirmed that belief. More long-term flora studies needed. Commonwealth tips another $173 million into Beetaloo Basin gas reserve, insists emissions targets on track.
The Federal Government is accelerating plans to develop a major gas basin in the Northern Territory, investing a further $173 million dollars into the Beetaloo Basin shale gas reserve. Key points: The Government is aiming to unlock the Beetaloo Basin for gas production by 2025It has now announced more than $200 million in recent investment into the basinThe investment comes despite concerns over the potential falling global demand for gas The investment will fund road infrastructure in the region, 500km south-east of Darwin, and comes just weeks after the Government committed up to $50 million to drive exploration. The Beetaloo Basin is one of five Australian gas fields the Commonwealth plans to open up, primarily to support exports and domestic manufacturing plants, under its "gas-led recovery" from coronavirus.
He said developing the gas reserve could contribute up to 6,000 jobs in the Northern Territory. "We need that economy to be ticking over, particularly in a post-COVID environment. " Rising sea levels visibly transforming parts of coastal region around Kakadu National Park. Floodplains around Australia's largest national park are undergoing a visible transformation as rising sea levels push saltwater further from the coast into its freshwater river systems. Key points: Kakadu's freshwater floodplains could eventually be totally lost due to climate changeThe impact of rising sea levels is already visible in coastal areas of the Kakadu regionKakadu is Australia's largest national park and is World Heritage listed Climate change is understood to be driving the phenomenon along the coastal region around Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, which will likely have dramatic consequences in the coming century.
If emissions continue to rise, modelling by the CSIRO from 2017 shows almost half of Kakadu's freshwater wetlands could be inundated with saltwater within 50 years, spelling out drastic repercussions for biodiversity. Baby shark study reveals impacts of climate change on Great Barrier Reef species. Baby sharks will find it difficult to survive on the Great Barrier Reef by the end of the century, scientists say, with climate change and warmer oceans leading to the creatures being born smaller, exhausted and undernourished. Key points: The study looked at the growth of epaulette shark hatchlings in controlled settings simulating future ocean temperaturesIt found sharks were born smaller and lacking the energy needed for their first days of lifeResearchers are concerned about shark species not as strong and adaptable as the epaulette shark A new study by James Cook University's (JCU) ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies focused on epaulette sharks, an egg-laying shark found only on the Great Barrier Reef.
Study co-author Jodie Rummer said the epaulette shark was a species that was "really tolerant" to challenging and changing conditions, including ocean acidification. As the Arctic melts, scientists say a regime shift is taking place - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) 2020 equals world's hottest year on record, as factors behind Black Summer become clearer. Thinning Arctic ice, more storms in the North Atlantic and record heat across Australia during La Niña during 2020 were some of the trademarks of the world's equal-hottest year on record, experts have warned. 2020 ties with 2016 as world's hottest year on record, EU climate change service. Last year tied with 2016 as the world's warmest on record, rounding off the hottest decade globally as the impacts of climate change intensified, the European Union's earth observation program says. Key points: In 2020, global temperatures were an average of 1.25 degrees Celsius higher than in pre-industrial timesThe Arctic suffered extreme heat and depletion of sea iceDeath Valley in California hit 54.4C, the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded After an exceptionally warm autumn and winter in Europe, the continent experienced its hottest year on record in 2020, while the Arctic suffered extreme heat and atmospheric concentrations of planet-warming carbon dioxide continued to rise.
Scientists said the latest data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service underscored the need for countries and corporations to slash greenhouse gas emissions quickly enough to bring within reach the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement to avoid catastrophic climate change. Hundreds of Pacific Islands are getting bigger despite global warming. Port Fairy's migratory short-tailed shearwaters rally after mass deaths halve colony. From bushfires to flash flooding, what will the Australian summer of the future look like? "State of emergency declared", read the headlines in the days leading up to Christmas last year. Burrunan dolphin deaths linked to Fresh Water Skin Disease caused by climate change. Inland New South Wales rivers may never recover from the last drought, expert warns. Australian 'super seaweed' supplement to reduce cattle gas emissions wins $1m international prize. A company commercialising a CSIRO-developed, seaweed feed product, which slashes the amount of greenhouse gases cattle burp and fart into the atmosphere, has won a $1 million international prize for its work reshaping the food system.
Key points: Cruise ships could revive Queensland tourism, but how will they impact its environment? - ABC News. Queensland is perfectly poised to cash in when the cruise industry resumes business, but with a Federal ban on leisure ships entering Australian waters now extended, the state will have to wait. Key points: Scott Morrison to be pressured by Pacific leaders at climate change summit led by United Nations - ABC News. The Midnight Sky: George Clooney's first Netflix film is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama - ABC News. If the idea of a big, contemplative space movie sounds like the perfect antidote to a claustrophobic year on Earth, then George Clooney's ambitious new sci-fi drama — brimming as it is with grand themes, earnest performances, and interstellar karaoke — may be just the emotional release.
Zebra finches' ingenious 'vocal panting' cools them down and signals hot weather to embryos - ABC News. As this latest heatwave breaks records across Australia, we're being forced to adjust to new levels of heat. UNESCO conservation advisory IUCN elevates concern for World Heritage Gondwana rainforests - ABC News. This tropical glacier is rare, revered, and could be gone by next year - ABC News. Great Barrier Reef outlook worsens to 'critical' as climate change named number one threat to world heritage sites - ABC News. Tim Flannery warns of adverse climate impacts if South32 coal mine expansion approved - ABC News. Scientists race to find wild, ancient bananas to save the popular fruit from climate change - ABC News. BOM and CSIRO State of the Climate 2020 shows Australia is experiencing climate change now - ABC News. Bushfire royal commission's final report issues warning to Australia over climate change - ABC News.
Queensland teenagers lodge legal action against Adani coal mine to save Great Barrier Reef - ABC News. In Donald Trump country, Kathy has lost eight cars to rising tides caused by climate change. But it won't impact her vote in the US election - ABC News. Great Barrier Reef coral halved by bleaching, climate change, report finds - ABC News. Greenland ice sheet loss already 'unprecedented' and set to accelerate - ABC News. Queensland government approval of Olive Downs Coking Coal Project criticised by conservation groups - ABC News. Climate change blamed as Arctic Ocean ice cover shrinks to second-lowest level on record - ABC News.
Greenland glacier loses 110 square kilometres' worth of ice - ABC News. NT business groups warn Gunner Government against chasing 'fanciful' economic recovery projects - ABC News. Australia amid climate change is making migrants adapt again. Satellite imagery reveals, in precise detail, extent of NSW bushfire destruction across Black Summer - ABC News.
Greenland's ice sheet melted away at record levels in 2019, scientists fear it will continue - ABC News. Cider gums under threat from fire, foraging and global warming, conservationists warn - ABC News. How coastal communities on Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula are dealing with the reality of sea level rises - ABC News. Climate change: Methane emissions have gone up everywhere except Europe - ABC News. Rising sea levels threaten critically endangered Capricorn yellow chat - ABC News. New Climate Atlas report shows how climate change will affect Australian wine regions - ABC News. Youth activists challenge Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal mine saying it impacts their human rights - ABC News. Antarctica warm snap likely put Australian wildlife off-kilter in the following months - ABC News. NSW rivers, lakes and lagoons warming twice as fast as ocean, finds 12-year study.
Jane Goodall says global disregard for nature brought on coronavirus pandemic. The hunt for hydroxyl radicals in Antarctica could reveal the secrets of our future climate. Wollongong biologist's trip to Antarctica to study ancient moss reveals impact of glacier retreat. Adani executive Lucas Dow talks up bigger coal mine in leaked video at LNP fundraising event. Koala losses from recent NSW bushfires 'One of the most significant biodiversity impacts in our history' Great Barrier Reef coral bleaching event linked to 'anthropogenic climate change' Bush tucker specialist replants food after bushfires for native animals — before rebuilding his home and business. Hundreds of birds dead in SA's Gluepot Reserve during scorching summer. How the Beetaloo gas field could jeopardise Australia's emissions target. Who are the 75 Australian 'scientists and professionals' who say there is no climate emergency? - Fact Check.
What has the rain done to drought-affected towns running out of water? Shrinking Antarctic ice shelf Pine Island Glacier sheds giant iceberg. Indian Ocean Dipole linked to global warming in new research by Australian scientists. Cheap gas, really? Why gas — from coal seams or ships — may not mean low power prices. Climate change could make flatback turtle population be born all female or die out, scientist warns. Antarctic region sees record high temperature of 18.3C amid rising concern over melting ice sheets. Climate change could lead to extinction of bumblebees, Canadian research finds. These waters off Tasmania's east coast are warming up to four times faster than global average.