Climate change is increasing the frequency and temperature of extreme heat waves, increasing the frequency and severity of floods and droughts, and causing a range of other adverse climate impacts, including changes to the hydrology of the world’s oceans. Such impacts have been linked to changes in ecosystem and human-made ecosystem in Australia, and in particular to a reduction in the abundance of native fish in parts of Tasmania. In Australia, it is not only native species that are now at risk, but also species native to the Pacific Ocean (e.g. Pacific cod, hake, halibut, scampi, etc.).
The Australian climate-adaptive marine system is currently undergoing rapid change, largely due to human-induced climate change. The major drivers of change include changing patterns of sea-surface temperature, salinity and flow, with all of these interacting and reinforcing one another. The consequences of these changes have been described by the IPCC as “one of the most serious environmental challenges”.
The current suite of adaptation measures are intended to help ecosystems, people and industries to adapt to changes to the climate. In response to an earlier report from the Global Commission on Adaptation the federal government has also developed a suite of climate change adaptation strategies, which are available at www.climatechangeplan.gov.au
This report will provide an assessment of the effectiveness of the national adaptation strategies. One component of the national strategy is the National Adaptation Framework, which defines the approach to adaptation by the Commonwealth Government and is supported by a range of government agencies, including the Department of the Environment, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Office of the Climate Change Commissioner
The overall strategy is divided into two stages. The first stage is to develop climate change strategies by the Australian government and the Department of the Environment. These will provide guidance for the development of adaptation measures by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.
The second stage is the development of national adaptation strategies for jurisdictions. These state and territory adaptation strategies will provide guidance for their contribution to sustainable development and to the Commonwealth adaptation strategy.
The aim of this strategy is to provide the most effective means of adapting to changes to the climate as part of a coherent national strategy.
Climate change is increasingly being attributed to human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. Many climate scientists agree that we currently have the capability to stave off the worst consequences of climate