Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 25 June 2010
A dire warning will be delivered to Australia when almost 1000 delegates from around the world arrive on the Gold Coast next week for the country’s first international conference on the science of climate change, and how to adapt to it.
Co-chair of the three-day conference and director of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Professor Jean Palutikof, warns Australia will be one of the hardest hit developed countries in the world when climate change starts to bite.
“The science tells us climate change is happening faster than we thought and that the window for us to adapt and prepare is smaller than we thought,” Professor Palutikof said.
“Australia is already experiencing the effects of climate change and is likely to be one of the most severely affected among developed countries.
“Regardless of what mitigation actions we take now as a nation, or globally, to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it is too late to mitigate our way out of the problem; we will need a mixture of adaptation and mitigation measures.”
The CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship Director Andrew Ash said the conference is the first to focus solely on practical adaptation measures.
“Adaptation is about preparing for climate change in order to minimise its impact on our natural, built and social environment,” Dr Ash said.
“The precise level of impact is difficult to pinpoint, so successful adaptation also means building our resilience to cope with uncertainty.
“The impacts from climate change will be felt first and most severely in developing countries, and international co-operation is required to ensure developing countries have the tools and resources they need to adapt.”
The conference topics span the economic costs of adapting; options for health, emergency and community services to cope with the added strain climate change will place on them; and adapting agriculture to cope with changing weather patterns to ensure long-term food security.