SCIENTISTS have warned WA will be one of Australia’s hardest hit regions by global warming over the next 30 years.
Almost 80 per cent of people in the WA Speaks survey were concerned about climate change. And despite the issue falling out of public discussion in recent months, nearly a quarter said they were “extremely concerned”.
The CSIRO’s latest State of the Climate report, released this week, predicted WA would see more hot days and more extreme weather in coming decades.
Current projections show the state could have as many as 72 days hotter than 35C each year by 2090 if greenhouse gas emissions remain high.
The number of days more than 40C could jump to about 20 each year, from an average of four.
CSIRO Climate Science Centre interim research director Kevin Hennessy said some effects from global warming were guaranteed over the next 30 years.
“Our projections indicate for South West WA we would expect further warming, further reductions in rainfall and more sea level rise as well as an increase in severe fire weather,” Dr Hennessy said.
Rainfall in the South West had already dropped by 19 per cent in May-July since the 1970s, he said.
Five months ahead of the state election, WA Greens MP Robin Chapple said the issue was so crucial a new Cabinet position and an independent authority must be established to focus on how WA would respond to global warming.
He said the State Government could not let this issue be entirely a federal responsibility.
“Globally, it’s the most significant problem we are facing aside from World War III,” Mr Chapple said.
Dr Hennessy said there were two basic solutions for global warming: adapt to some unavoidable amount of climate change and try to slow it by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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