Marine environments in Australia, such as the Great Barrier Reef, are not faring well, and are under a lot of pressure, a new report has warned.
According to ABC News, scientists have given the state of Australia's marine environment a low grade in the country's first Marine Climate Change report card.
AdvertisementThe report, compiled by CSIRO and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, details how Australia's marine environment has already changed as a result of a warming planet, and how it is expected to change in the future.
"Our marine environment is vulnerable of dropping out of school," said marine biologist and contributing author Dr Alistair Hobday of CSIRO.
But he said that the report does offer strategies to help marine environments adapt to the projected impacts of climate change.
"The report card will be a valuable tool for scientists, policy makers and anyone with an interest or investment in Australia's marine systems," said Hobday.
"It's like a mini-marine IPCC report for Australia. It's all you need to know about the impact climate change is having on Australia's marine environment in one place," he added.
Hobday said that the report, which took over a year to prepare, demonstrates that climate change is already having an impact.
The temperature is going to rise by 2 degree Celsius to 4 degree Celsius even if greenhouse gas emissions were regulated from today, according to Hobday.
"Over the next 30 years, the kind of changes we're expecting to see are already locked in now because of the amount of greenhouse gases we've put into the atmosphere," he said. "Nothing we do today can change that," he added.
He said that mitigating greenhouse gases will only slow down, or possibly reverse, the effects of climate change in the long term - between 30 and 70 years.
Hobday hopes that the report's adaptation strategies will be used in the short-term, while more drastic longer-term solutions are negotiated.
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