Climate change presents a range of risks and opportunities for Kingborough Council and the community it represents.  Managing the risks and identifying the opportunities requires a continuous commitment form the Council and the community to a open discussion of the issues as they emerge.  Kingborough Council has almost completed its draft climate change adaptation strategy and we will be seeking community comments very soon.  In the mean time please ensure you have your say in the climate change survey and comment on any of the topics presented here.


Sea Level is Rising Fast

Many observations have shown that sea level rose steadily over the 20th century – and at a faster rate than over the previous centuries. It is also clear from both satellite and coastal observations that seas have risen faster over the past two decades than they did for the bulk of the 20th century.

More recently, several studies have shown that the flow of ice and water into the oceans from Greenland and West Antarctica has increased since 1993. This raises an interesting question: has the rate of sea-level rise changed since 1993, when satellite observations began to give us a more complete picture of the global oceans?

See The Conversation for the full article


Heat waves are America's deadliest weather disaster

Heatwaves are quickly becoming one of the world's deadliest weather phenomena.  In the United States, extreme heat now kills more people than tornadoes, hurricanes, or flooding.  And a massive heat wave, like the that hit Eurpose in 2003, can kill tens of thousands in a blow.

To read more click here


CSIRO State of the Climate 2014

The latest State of the Climate Report (2014) has been released by the CSIRO Data and shows "further warming of the atmosphere and oceans in the Australian region, as is happening globally. This change is occurring against the background of high climate variability, but the signal is clear."

This report providesa clear summary about the past climate trends for Australia.  In particular it notes the considerable drying that has affected most of Tasmania, especially in the west.  For more information click on the image or here to access the CSIRO website.


Australia's Record Breaking Year

Australia recorded its warmest year in recorded history in 2013.  According to a recent Climate Council report "Australia’s record hot year is part of a global, longer-term trend. Over the past century, the Earth’s climate has warmed and continues to warm. More record hot weather is occurring around the planet" (p.1). Click here to download the report from the Climate Council's website.


We're beyond debating the existence of climate change. Impacts we're seeing now should compel us to reduce emissions further and start planning in earnest. It's time to quit dithering.

By Jane Lubchenco and Thomas E. Lovejoy

The Daily Climate

We have been given a sobering glimpse into the speed of our changing climate and the vulnerabilities of our world. It turns out we must focus greater attention to the tropics, where so much of humanity and wildlife live, and to our oceans.

While policymakers posture, dither and deny, the unraveling has already begun.

A sophisticated analysis, published in the premier scientific journal Nature by a team of young scientists at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, shows that impacts of climate change are already dramatic, with much more to come. While policymakers posture, dither and deny, the unraveling has already begun.

Many changes will continue in the years ahead, but we can slow them and buffer some of their impacts – if we act.

Using as a baseline the observed temperatures our world has known since 1860, when records first became reliable, biologist Camilo Mora and his co-authors sought to determine when future temperatures will move beyond the bounds of historical ranges. Others have examined how average temperatures will change; the Mora team examined how the full range of temperatures is changing, compared to historic ranges. 

They come to the surprising conclusion that the tropics are particularly vulnerable. A shift out of the observed range of temperatures is expected as soon as 2020. When that happens, the coldest temperatures will be warmer than the hottest in the past. The implications for people, food supplies and biodiversity are tremendous.

Into the unknown

Over the next three decades, many of the rest of the world's ecosystems – the deserts and jungles, the temperate zones, the polar regions – will likely move outside of temperature ranges that have nurtured life as we know it.

Cities map-550Within 35 years or so, most cities on earth will be living in a climate different from that upon which we have built our societies and civilization. 

Examining changes other than temperature, the University of Hawaii team found that the oceans are already outside the historic range of variability for acidity. Oceans today are 30 percent more acidic than 150 years ago. And life in oceans is already showing signs of this stress.

Power to slow the changes

These findings and forecasts are startling, but there is some good news: This analysis found that if we reduce the amount of climate-altering emissions over the next few decades, we have the power to slow these changes significantly.

These results do not mean polar regions won't see significant shifts. Or that ecosystems won't prove flexible or resilient. But we have every reason to expect these climate changes will radically reorganize ecosystems, with unknown consequences to humanity.

We have every reason to expect these climate changes will radically reorganize ecosystems, with unknown consequences to humanity.

As a professor of marine biology at Oregon State University and former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a professor of science and public policy at George Mason University, we see in this study a powerful message to citizens and policymakers alike: It's time to take action.

From debating to documenting

A year ago, James Hansen, formerly of NASA, and his co-authors added a significant measure of understanding by looking at observed weather extremes over the last 30 years, particularly heat waves, compared to historical records. They found that we had lived through an exponential increase in outside-the-norm heat waves globally.

This study by Mora and his co-authors adds an important measure to our knowledge. We're beyond debating the existence of climate change, and onto documenting and forecasting how quickly it takes shape around us. Shouldn't we also be acting to slow the changes and to be prepared for what has been set in motion? 

Jane Lubchenco is former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator and a professor of marine biology at Oregon State University. Thomas E. Lovejoy is professor of science and public policy at George Mason University.

NOTE: This article is from The Daily Climate which is an independent news service covering energy, the environment and climate change. Find us on Twitter @TheDailyClimate or email editor Douglas Fischer at dfischer [at]