Australia will cop it bigtime, in climate change

climate-AustClimate change could be putting human health at risk: Australian IPCC report researchers ABC News, By Carl Smith 31 March 14, Climate change will increasingly harm people’s health and Australians will be particularly vulnerable, according to Canberra authors of the latest international climate change report.

The health section of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Commission (IPCC) report shows humans will be more at risk over coming years with areas of the world likely to become uninhabitable.

University of Canberra’s Professor Helen Berry is one of three Canberra researchers who have contributed to the health section of the report. She says human health has so far been neglected in public discussions on climate change, as debate has generally focused on the environment and the economic effects of reducing emissions.

“If climate change goes on unchecked we will see many deaths – we are seeing many deaths already – and you can imagine the human population could possibly go extinct if you take the effects of climate change to their extreme logical conclusion,” she said.

“We as a nation and we as a world really need to be focusing on health and well-being, because it’s the bottom line for human survival.”

Fellow contributor Professor Colin Butler, also from the University of Canberra, says climate change could be a major threat in the decades to come.

“We might be heading into a new dark age, not in the next five years but maybe in the next 100 years,” he said.

“We’ve got to put far more effort onto slowing down the pace of climate change, rather than deluding ourselves to the idea that we can adapt to it.

“I’m very concerned that within 100 years there will be devastation through multiple interacting pathways – more expensive foods, sea level rise, migration, ultimately war.”

Australia a climate change ‘canary in a cage’

Professor Helen Berry says Australia should be particularly concerned. “Australia’s already a hot country, warming is not good for us,” she said. “Warming brings about an increased risk of droughts, of bushfires, of floods and storms, and heatwaves. “All of these climatic conditions are common already in Australia and they will become more and more common and more and more erratic and wild and unpredictable. “When that happens, larger numbers of people are affected, injured, sometimes killed tragically in these disasters.”

Professor Berry warns Australia is a “canary in a cage” when it comes to climate change………


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