‘Hope is not enough to ensure a better future’
Letter to the Editor – Contributed by Tony Fontes, Airlie Beach.
Just about everyone is happy to see the end of 2020 and are hoping for a better 2021.
But when it comes to climate change, hope is not enough to ensure a better future.
Let’s look at some facts recently reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
– 2020 was the second hottest year globally on record despite a cooling La Niña, whereas 2016, the hottest on record, began with a strong warming El Nino event.
– The past decade (2011-2020) was the hottest on record (+0.82C above the 20th century average). This surpassed the previous decadal record (2001–2010) of +0.62C.
– The global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.08C per decade since 1880 and over twice that rate (+0.18C) since 1981.
– The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2005.
– 2020 marks the 44th consecutive year (since 1977) with global land and ocean temperatures above the 20th-century average.
What does this all mean for Australia?
As temperatures increase, scientists predict:
– Heatwaves will become hotter, last longer and occur more often
– Drought will become more prolonged and intense
– A longer and dryer bushfire season
– More severe weather events including flooding
– Increase in the severity and frequency of mass coral bleaching events
Sounds a lot like 2020. Not a very happy new year.
If you are hoping for a better future, then now is the time to make (and keep) this new year’s resolution: Australia will transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and be carbon-neutral by 2050.
If we can do that, then 2021 will, indeed, be a very happy new year.
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