Australia is one of the countries most exposed to climate change #StopAdani #auspol

Australia one of the countries most exposed to climate change, bank warns

Cole Latimer22 March 2018 — 2:00pm

Australia is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change in the developed world, and the threat of Australians dying from global warming-related events has risen, global bank HSBC warns.

Australia is at risk of more bushfires as climate change continues.

Photo: Jonathan Carroll

A new report by the bank, titled Fragile Planet, has ranked 67 countries for their exposure to climate change risks. Australia scored poorly, with the largest percentage rise in deaths attributable to climate change in the developed world.

Combining data from the World Bank and EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database which calculates economic damage estimates, HSBC said fatalities attributable to climate change-linked events such as stronger storms, floods, or heat-related incidents surged from 0.36 per cent of the population between 1997 and 2006 to 3.41 per cent between 2007 and 2016.

At the same time, the number of people impacted by climate change events surged from 3.25 to 15.25 per 1000 of the population.

Israel and the US were the only developed countries with a bigger share of the population impacted by climate change-related events such as floods, storms, hurricanes, and wildfires.

Globally, the World Health Organisation forecasts that around 250,000 additional deaths annually will be attributable to climate change.

HSBC developed the report as a tool for investors to provide in-depth information on countries’ climate change risk profiles, on their energy issues, risks to business operations, supply and demand and logistics as well as their long-term sustainable development issues.

Australia was ranked as highly sensitive to the physical risks of climate change, with predictions of more storms, floods, rain and bushfires. New Zealand ranked as one the nations least exposed to those risks.

Hurting the economy

Late last year, Deutsche Bank also developed a tool to forecast where its investments across the globe may be impacted by natural disasters brought on by climate change.

The German bank’s economic modelling estimated that if carbon emissions aren’t reduced throughout this century, per capita GDP will be 23 per cent lower than it otherwise would be.

Principal Advisor at The Australia Institute, Mark Ogge, said Australia’s industries and infrastructure, such as coastal based business, roads and rail, and both commercial residential assets, are at significant risk from climate change-related events.

“There’s up to $236 billion of infrastructure at risk from a one-metre sea level rise alone,” Mr Ogge said. Temperature increases also put Australia’s tourism industry at risk, with a rising number of days above 35 degrees celsius in holiday destinations such as Far North Queensland, he added.

The Australia Institute believes billions of dollars in infrastructure are at risk from a one-metre sea level rise.

Photo: Ashley Roach

Australia is the only developed market that ranked within the top ten in HSBC’s report for energy transition issues due to its high levels of fossil fuel exports – particularly coal – and is one of the few countries that has seen these exports growing as a percentage of their gross domestic product.

HSBC sees risks to the nation’s economy as Australia attempts to shift its energy and economic system, currently underpinned by fossil fuels, to one with a greater mix of renewables.

“Many countries and other actors are at risk of seeing parts of their old energy economy becoming effectively ‘stranded assets’ – or economically non-viable – given the relative economics of alternatives and new breakthrough technologies,” the HSBC report stated.

“Managing the transition to a lower carbon economy is key to mitigating downside risks,” the bank said. “We think achieving diversification is key.”

The good news

However, it is not all bad news. Australia was ranked amongst the top three nations – along with New Zealand and Norway – with the greatest potential to respond to climate change and financially prepare the country for a changing environment.

Despite Australia’s frequent drought conditions, it was seen as a market with adequate water resources availability, while Singapore was the developed market most at risk over water availability.

Press link for more: SMH.COM


Cutting carbon emissions sooner could save 153 million lives — ScienceDaily #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol

As many as 153 million premature deaths linked to air pollution could be avoided worldwide this century if governments speed up their timetable for reducing fossil fuel emissions, a new Duke University-led study finds.

The study is the first to project the number of lives that could be saved, city by city, in 154 of the world’s largest urban areas if nations agree to reduce carbon emissions and limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C in the near future rather than postponing the biggest emissions cuts until later, as some governments have proposed.

Premature deaths would drop in cities on every inhabited continent, the study shows, with the greatest gains in saved lives occurring in Asia and Africa.

Kolkata and Delhi, India, lead the list of cities benefitting from accelerated emissions cuts with up to 4.4 million projected saved lives and up to 4 million projected saved lives, respectively. Thirteen other Asian or African cities could each avoid more than 1 million premature deaths and around 80 additional cities could each avoid at least 100,000 deaths.

Nearly 50 urban areas on other continents could also see significant gains in numbers of saved lives, with six cities — Moscow, Mexico City, Sao Paolo, Los Angeles, Puebla and New York — each potentially avoiding between 320,000 and 120,000 premature deaths.

The new projections underscore the grave shortcomings of taking the lowest-cost approach to emissions reductions, which permits emissions of carbon dioxide and associated air pollutants to remain higher in the short-term in hopes they can be offset by negative emissions in the far distant future, said Drew Shindell, Nicholas Professor of Earth Sciences at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

“The lowest-cost approach only looks at how much it will cost to transform the energy sector. It ignores the human cost of more than 150 million lost lives, or the fact that slashing emissions in the near term will reduce long-term climate risk and avoid the need to rely on future carbon dioxide removal,” he said. “That’s a very risky strategy, like buying something on credit and assuming you’ll someday have a big enough income to pay it all back.”

Shindell conducted the new research with Greg Faluvegi of Columbia University’s Center for Climate Systems Research and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Karl Seltzer, a PhD student in earth and ocean sciences at Duke; and Cary Shindell, an undergraduate student in civil and environmental engineering at Duke. They published their peer-reviewed findings March 19 in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Funding came from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

To conduct the study, they ran computer simulations of future emissions of carbon dioxide and associated pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter under three different scenarios. The first scenario simulated the effects of having accelerated reductions of carbon emissions and almost no negative emissions over the remainder of the 21st century. The second scenario simulated the effects of allowing slightly higher carbon emissions in the near term, but with still enough overall reductions to limit atmosphere warming to 2°C by century’s end. The third scenario simulated the effects of an even more accelerated approach, in which near-term emissions are reduced to a level that would limit atmospheric warming to 1.5°C.

The researchers then calculated the human health impacts of pollution exposure under each scenario all over the world — but focusing on results in major cities — using well-established epidemiological models based on decades of public health data on air-pollution related deaths.

“Since air pollution is something we understand very well and have extensive historical data on, we can say with relatively high certainty how many people will die in a given city under each scenario,” Shindell said. “Hopefully, this information will help policymakers and the public grasp the benefits of accelerating carbon reductions in the near term, in a way that really hits home.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by Duke University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Press link for more: Science Daily

Revolution is urgently needed! Naomi Klein Jeremy Rifkin #Neoliberalism #ClimateChange #auspol

We need to act urgently to slow catastrophic climate change.

Naomi Klein and Michelle Alexander in dialogue at the historic Riverside Church discussing urgent need for fundamental change arranged by the Union Theological Seminary NYC 15th February 2018.

Governments across the planet have been too slow to react to the climate crisis.

We need to rapidly join Europe and China in the Third Industrial Revolution.

The global economy is in crisis.

The exponential exhaustion of natural resources, declining productivity, slow growth and steep inequality is forcing us to rethink our economic models.

Nothing is more political than moving from centralized power that runs the world and the politics that went with that to distributed power and clean energy that can then be shared,” Rifkin said. “That is extremely political.

There’s lots of [early projects] but what hasn’t happened is an overarching vision or narrative to put it together.”

It’s time to join the revolution.


Step Up to Solve Climate Change – Be heard in the Talanoa Dialogue #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

UN Climate Change News, 21 March 2018 – The international response to climate change can get a boost of ambition this year from a Pacific Island tradition called Talanoa, ramped up to a global scale. To be a success, people representing businesses, investors, cities, regions, civil society and others need to step up to have their voices heard.

The aggregate ambition described in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement is still insufficient to reach the global goal of limiting temperature rise to 2-1.5 degree Celsius. The Talanoa Dialogue, launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn (COP 23) last December, invites everyone to engage in finding a solution, first by preparing submissions in response to three questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?

The answers received will provide the substantive basis for ministerial discussions at this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland, at the end of the year.

Businesses, investors, cities, regions, civil society and others are called on to engage with the Talanoa Dialogue by:

1 Submitting a written input to the Talanoa portal

2 Expressing interest to be part of an in-person Talanoa discussion during the Bonn Climate Change Conference, 30 April -10 May 2018

3 Fostering a broader conversation, such as by holding or participating in a ‘regional Talanoa’.

For more information on the ways to engage, please join the Presidency’s webinar with Fiji’s Lead Negotiator, Ambassador Danivalu, and high-level Climate Champion, Inia Seruiratu. More information will be made available soon.

The Dialogue takes its name from a traditional Pacific word – Talanoa – which describes an inclusive, non-confrontational space for collective problem solving where relationships can be forged and amicable solutions developed. By participating actively in dialogue, actors from all sectors and geographies can help meet the collective challenge of successfully implementing the Paris Agreement.

To read the full vision of the Talanoa Dialogue, please click here.

Submitting a written input to the Talanoa Portal

Inputs should be in line with the spirit of the Dialogue, which is constructive, facilitative, transparent, and, above all, solutions oriented. It is critical that inputs hit the right note, because key messages from this preparatory phase – captured in a synthesis report – will be considered, together with a complementary Yearbook of Global Climate Action, by ministers at the end of the year with a view to generating political momentum and guiding an increase in ambition.

For full guidance on submitting a written input, please click here. The high-level champions have prepared templates to assist stakeholders.

Applying to be part of an in-person Talanoa discussion during the Bonn Session

At the Bonn Climate Change Conference (30 April–10 May), UN Climate Change alongside the COP Presidencies, will convene a series of in-person Talanoa Dialogues. These will include representatives of government and various constituencies, organizations and coalitions, non-governmental and inter-governmental representatives. Visit the Platform for more information. The deadline for expression of interest is 29 March 2018.

Fostering a broader conversation

A broader conversation around the Talanoa Dialogue, which stretches beyond engagement via either the Portal or the Bonn sessions, is already emerging and is indeed a very positive development.

This conversation will naturally involve inputs, but which are not necessarily suitable for formal submission to the Talanoa Portal – such as poems and music. These are nonetheless invaluable for cultivating the right spirit for these open discussions.

Alongside this ad hoc input, which will live on social media and elsewhere, all actors are encouraged to organize their own ‘regional Talanoas’ and to submit outcomes to the Portal to further augment discussions.

We kindly ask all relevant stakeholders to help us issue a ‘call to action’, making use of your social media accounts, to foster a can-do spirit around the Talanoa Dialogue.

To this end, we have prepared a selection of webcards for use on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which can be used by everyone.

Press link for more: COP23.UNFCCC

Project Drawdown 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming #auspol #qldpol #StopAdaniu

Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.

Our organization did not make or devise the plan—we found the plan because it already exists.

We gathered a qualified and diverse group of researchers from around the world to identify, research, and model the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change.

What was uncovered is a path forward that can roll back global warming within thirty years.

It shows that humanity has the means at hand.

Nothing new needs to be invented.

The solutions are in place and in action.

Our work is to accelerate the knowledge and growth of what is possible.

We chose the name Drawdown because if we do not name the goal, we are unlikely to achieve it.

Drawdown is that point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis.

The Mission

Project Drawdown is facilitating a broad coalition of researchers, scientists, graduate students, PhDs, post-docs, policy makers, business leaders and activists to assemble and present the best available information on climate solutions in order to describe their beneficial financial, social and environmental impact over the next thirty years.

The Vision

To date, the full range and impact of climate solutions have not been explained in a way that bridges the divide between urgency and agency.

Thus the aspirations of people who want to enact meaningful solutions remain largely untapped.

Dr. Leon Clark, one of the lead authors of the IPCC 5th Assessment, wrote, ”

“We have the technologies, but we really have no sense of what it would take to deploy them at scale.”

Together, let’s figure it out.

For a summary of solutions by rank click here: 100 Solutions

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Adani won’t commit to fresh funding deadline for $16.5b Carmichael mine #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Indian energy company Adani has refused to say when it expects to raise enough money to start its controversial $16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine after admitting it would not meet its self-imposed March deadline for the project.

By Mark Ludlow

With the company struggling to convince banks to lend money for the $6.7 billion first stage of the Central Queensland project and Labor leader Bill Shorten now openly opposing it, Adani is under pressure to make a funding commitment sooner rather than later.

It comes as Adani Renewable chief executive Jennifer Purdie admitted in a submission to the Energy Security Board that new thermal generation, such as coal-fired power, would be more expensive than existing generation assets in the National Energy Market.

Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj earlier this month vowed to go ahead with the Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin, despite a “flood of misinformation” from critics and the project becoming a lightning rod for environmental activists who want to stop any new coal mines in Australia.

Adani Australia head Jeyakumar Janakaraj won’t commit to a funding deadline for the Carmichael mine.

But Adani has yet to commit to a new deadline for the project, which has been in the planning and approval process for almost a decade.

The company claims the project will create 10,000 new jobs in regional Queensland, but this figure has been widely disputed by critics.

A spokeswoman for Adani said there were no plans to set a new deadline for funding, saying the company had already shown its commitment by investing $3.3 billion in Australia so far.

“We remain 100% committed to the Carmichael Project. We are confident of securing finance,” the spokeswoman said.

Adani has also yet to sign a royalties agreement with the Palaszczuk Labor government, with Treasurer Jackie Trad saying they were still waiting for the company to formally agree to the terms following an in-principle agreement last May.

Adani was an issue in the Batman byelection in Victoria last weekend, but Labor sources played down the party’s tough new stance against the project as being a defining factor in Ged Kearney’s victory.

Adani – which wants to export its coal to India – has in recent weeks been more vocal in spruiking its renewable business in Australia. It aims to establish 1500 megawatts of renewable energy generation, including solar, wind and pumped hydro, by 2022.

Despite critics claiming Adani’s investment in renewables was to mollify those opposed to the Carmichael mine – which would be the biggest open-cut coal mine in Australia – the Indian company is one of the world’s 15 biggest developers of solar power, with 1218 megawatts in operation and 1300 megawatts under construction in India. It also has 12 megawatts of wind power in operation and 140 megawatts under construction.

Ms Purdie said the company was committed to building a renewables business in Australia.

In a submission to the Energy Security Board, she backed the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee – the Coalition’s proposed mechanism for the energy sector to drive down carbon emissions – but said the best chance of it building a sustainable renewable business in Australia was to have secure, reliable and affordable power.

“If consumers need to choose between affordability and reduced emissions, in almost every instance they will choose affordability,” Ms Purdie said in the submission.

Ms Purdie said new thermal generation, such as coal or gas, is going to be more expensive than older existing assets that have been depreciated.

“On this basis, it seems highly likely that the cost of energy going forward is going to be more expensive than it has historically been, for at least the next few years,” she said.

“Fundamentally, however, we should be designing the energy transition so that Australia has a global competitive advantage through a globally competitive energy prices and availability given the quality and diversity of our energy resources.”

Press link for more: AFR.COM

Climate change victims need money to survive, not words. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Climate change victims need money to survive, not words

Published on 20/03/2018, 10:35am

There is an opportunity in May to help people hit hardest by climate change; governments must take it.

Sakina Bibi has lost three homes in 8 years to coastal erosion (Pic: EnGIO)

By Harjeet Singh, Sven Harmeling and Julie-Anne Richards

Sakina Bibi has lost three mud houses to the sea in less than 8 years, at Mousuni island in the Indian Sundarbans.

The 65-year-old is not alone. Since Cyclone Aila hit the region in the year 2009, over 2,000 families have been displaced due to unpredictable coastal flooding destroying their homes and livelihoods.

As climate change causes sea level rise, more than 13 million people living in the low-lying Sundarbans – a Unesco World Heritage Site spread across Bangladesh and India – face an uncertain future.

In May, there will be an opportunity to help people like Sakina Bibi: the Suva expert dialogue on “loss and damage”, to take place during interim UN climate talks in Bonn.

Governments must make sure this is not just a talking shop and leads to new finance for those hit hardest by climate change.

A pre-meeting last week showed promise, but also signs of resistance from rich countries to meaningful action. So what would be a positive outcome?

New money

First and foremost, the dialogue should mobilise money. Rich countries must engage constructively with what finance and support vulnerable countries need, who will provide it and how it will be channeled.

To date, there has been an emphasis on providing insurance against climate risks, but the expectation is that vulnerable populations pay the premiums. This is very unfair, as those people did not cause climate change. Also, insurance does not cover “slow onset events” like sea level rise and glacier melt.

We want to see polluters pay for the damage they have caused. One way would be to equitably implement a “climate damages tax” on fossil fuel extraction, which could raise billions of dollars a year.

The provisional concept does not guarantee to put such innovative financial mechanisms at the heart of the expert dialogue, but they will at least be on the agenda.

Science focus

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is due to release a report later this year on 1.5C global warming, the toughest target in the Paris Agreement. It will detail what would be required to meet the target and the consequences of exceeding it.

This is an ideal opportunity to build up the evidence base around loss and damage. Sadly, some rich country representatives on the executive committee have blocked meaningful engagement with the IPCC, despite the science panel’s willingness to cooperate.

Julie-Anne Richards


At the #WIM #ExCom7 meeting. For the 2nd time reps from US, Australia, UK, Germany all trying to shut down discussions between the #IPCC and this @UNFCCC body tasked with dealing with #lossanddamage from #climatechange. Why? What are they so afraid of?

9:10 PM – Mar 14, 2018


At the Paris climate summit in 2015, governments commissioned a task force to “avert, minimise and address” climate-induced displacement, which according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre already affects an average of 21.5 million people each year.

Made up of specialists from climate negotiations and agencies like the International Organisation for Migration and UN Refugee Agency, the task force is holding a stakeholder consultation mid-May to develop policy recommendations. The process will complement the UN Global Compact on Migration, which concludes this year.

Policymakers must rise above politics and self-interest to protect the life and dignity of people forced to move by climate changes beyond their control.

Sakina Bibi and millions like her depend on it.

Harjeet Singh is the global climate change lead for Action Aid International, Sven Harmeling is global policy lead on climate change for Care International and Julie-Anne Richards is an independent consultant

Press link for more: Climate change news

Turnbull The #ClimateChange Denier #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Turnbull knows better than to deny fire weather link to climate change

Peter Hannam20 March 2018 — 4:19pm

Raising the issue of the role of climate change in extreme weather events is always a delicate matter for families battling grief over lost homes and emergency service teams managing the aftermath.

But that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t have a discussion about the issues. If not now, when?

Malcolm Turnbull visit burned out homes in Tathra on Monday.

Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Malcolm Turnbull echoed the comments of his deposed predecessor Tony Abbott when he visited Tathra, the NSW south coastal town hit with huge fires amid record-breaking March heat.

Abbott in 2013 declared in the wake of Blue Mountain bushfires that destroyed 200 homes that “these fires are certainly not a function of climate change, they’re a function of life in Australia”.

Unlike Abbott, though, Turnbull is not a denier of climate change, having taken personal efforts to school himself in the issue with scientists from the University of NSW well before becoming Prime Minister.

So, it’s surprising to hear Turnbull on TV on Monday, in rebuttal of Greens’ leader Richard Di Natale that climate change was behind Sunday’s fires, saying: “We have an environment which has extremes.

Bushfires are part of Australia, as indeed are droughts and floods.”

He preceded those comments, though, with a view that, if truly held, suggests the Prime Minister isn’t listening to his scientific advisors.

Fears of asbestos contamination restricted residents coming to see if their home was destroyed by fire to a bus tour of the NSW south coast town.

“[A]s you know very well, you can’t attribute any particular event, whether it’s a flood or fire or a drought … to climate change,” Turnbull said.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said on Tuesday there were legitimate questions to ask about the impact of climate change but opted to avoid inflaming the discussion just now.

“I understand there is a debate about climate in this county,” he said during a visit to Tathra. “On a day when 69 houses have gone, it is not a debate I will start.”

Actually, the science of attribution is advancing fast, and extreme heat – and with it, days of high fire risk – is among the clearer climate signals.

(Turnbull also denies climate change link to coral bleaching)

As Andrew King of Melbourne University and David Karoly – now head of the CSIRO’s climate centre – noted Australia is actually at the head of the pack when it comes to joining the dots between extreme weather and global warming.

To be clear, it’s not a case of saying Sunday’s fires near Bega (or south-west Victoria) were sparked by climate change.

Rather it’s a matter of probabilities.

“While we can’t say climate change caused an extreme event, we can estimate how much more or less likely the event has become due to human influences on the climate,” King and Karoly note.

Whether the Tathra fires are deemed large enough to examine for attribution (and the chance that Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane should all hit 30 degrees so late in the season as they did on Saturday) will be up the scientists to decide.

But fire authorities across Australia know the bushfire season is getting longer. So, too, is the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwaves.

Add our fire-prone eucalyptus forests – with many species needing fire to regenerate – and it’s no wonder Australians have particular cause to fear climate change.

“Nature hurls her worst at us … always will and always has,” Turnbull said.

The worst, though, will in some cases get more extreme, and pretending otherwise is not leadership.

Peter Hannam is Environment Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald. He covers broad environmental issues ranging from climate change to renewable energy for Fairfax Media.

Press link for more: SMH.COM.AU

#ClimateChange makes war worse. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Environmental Issues, Primarily Climate Change, Wreak Havoc On War-torn Mideast Nations

By Nate Nkumbu | The Media Line

March 20, 2018

Amid the fighting in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, the impact of global warming is magnified

As the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen rage on, the human toll rightfully continues to receive much of the attention.

However, the conflicts in the Middle East have negatively impacted other living organisms, as well as the environment in general, which, in turn, has made the lives of those under fire even more difficult.

According to a United Nations-sponsored report compiled by the human rights group PAX, “climate change is thought to be responsible for an increasing frequency of droughts in Iraq during the last decade.”

It added that, “together with increased damming and upstream water use by neighboring countries, the frequent droughts and increasing urbanization have led to chronic shortages of water.”

Miquel Gonzalez-Meler, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago contended to The Media Line that droughts, in particular, have made already unbearable situations that much more difficult. “The drought has affected many low income crops and created a poor distribution of resources. It has also affected aquifers and contaminated groundwater,” he said.

The war-time mismanagement of vital resources such as water can lead to death in extreme cases, while affecting the yield of crops like barley, wheat and sorghum, which are anyways hard to come by conflict zones.

Gonzalez-Meler highlighted the effects of an ongoing drought in the Zagros Mountains, spanning Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. While the range has been a source of water years—when the snow caps melt water flows down to the valleys below—climate change has caused the snow to recede and, in turn, less water is available to those who need it most.

“Changes in the precipitation means that there is no snow reservoir to increase the flow of the rivers and valleys of the region,” he continued, “which have been the sources and sites of great inventions in human history as well as the location of the demise of great empires like the Babylonians and the Sumerians.”

Adam Rose, Research Professor at the University of Southern California, warns that the current period of global warming is one of the most severe ever and is exacerbating the political and humanitarian situations in the Middle East.

“There have been researchers that have found that drought has been getting more severe and causing more stress [on the environment]. Accordingly, people have become impoverished and it is probably a reason for the outward migration in addition to the conflicts themselves.”

Rose added that the problem is likely to get worse, especially as regards water, which he believes could eventually become valuable than oil. “Political issues and ethnic tensions still dominate the region but water is pretty important. One issue that may come into play is the future redrawing of borders [based on the presence of resources] should the conflicts wind down.”

Already, Ethiopia and Egypt are engaged in a major dispute over a dam the former is building which could impact the flow of the Nile’s water, upon which much of Egypt’s rural population depends. “There are also issues relating to access to water in the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee and many other rivers and aquifers. Water is a scarce resource,” Rose concluded.

(Nate Nkumbu is a Student Intern in The Media Line’s Press and Policy Student Program)

Press link for more: The Media Line

Antarctic Ice melts faster than thought. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Key Antarctic ice shelf larger than scientists thought

20th March 2018

More of the Totten Glacier is floating on the ocean than previously thought, increasing its potential to contribute to global sea level rise.

Glaciologist, Dr Ben Galton-Fenzi, said the Totten Glacier is one of the fastest flowing and largest glaciers in Antarctica and until now scientists thought more of it was grounded on Antarctic bedrock.

As part of the Australian Antarctic Program, Dr Galton-Fenzi’s team of researchers, including scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division, University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, and the Central Washington University, spent the summer in Antarctica studying the Totten.

Professor Paul Winberry, from Central Washington University, said seismology allowed them to determine the structure of the earth below the surface of the glacier.

“A hammer-generated seismic wave was used to ‘see’ through a couple of kilometres of ice. In some locations we thought were grounded, we detected the ocean below indicating that the glacier is in fact floating,” Professor Winberry said.

Professor Winberry said if more of the glacier is floating on a warming ocean, it may help explain recent periods of accelerated melting and flow.

“It also means the Totten might be more sensitive to climate variations in the future.”

Dr Galton-Fenzi said the Totten Glacier, which is more than twice the area of Victoria, contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by about three metres if it all melted.

“Since the 1900s the global sea-level has risen by around 20 centimetres and by the end of the century it’s projected to rise by up to one metre or more, but this is subject to high uncertainty which is why studying glaciers such as the Totten is important,” Dr Galton-Fenzi said.

“These precise measurements of Totten Glacier are vital to monitoring changes and understanding them in the context of natural variations and the research is an important step in assessing the potential impact on sea-level under various future scenarios.”

Instruments to measure the glacial flow, speed and thickness have been left on the glacier for another 12 months collecting data. The field season was supported by the Australian Research Council Antarctic Gateway Partnership.

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