Australia hears dire warning on climate change

The popular Australian TV programme, The World Today, broadcast an interview with Environmental scientist Dr Tim Flannery on Thursday, 18th August, during which Dr Flannery forecast that Australia would face a climate-driven calamity before the end of the century.

The transcript of the interview is shown below:

ELEANOR HALL: Environmental scientist Tim Flannery is today forecasting that a calamity driven by climate change will hit Australia before the end of the century.

Dr Flannery says he has new research, which shows that temperatures are now rising 50 times faster than they were in the lead-up to the last ice age, 10,000 years ago and his analysis, which will be published in his forthcoming book, has been cautiously supported by others in his field.

Emma Joliff compiled this report.

TIM FLANNERY: Over the last century, the US temperature’s risen by 0.63 of a degree. The average temperature of the Earth is 13.7 degrees, so that’s quite a significant rise and by the end of the century we’re looking at a rise overall of around three degrees if we go on with business as usual.

EMMA JOLIFF: Dr Tim Flannery painting an alarming picture of climate change. He says by the end of this century Australia’s precious heritage sites like Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, will be unrecognisable.

TIM FLANNERY: Look, of all the developed countries, Australia I think faces the bleakest future and that’s because a lot of our agriculture is already marginal, as is our rainfall.

A lot our biodiversity is already under threat and we’re in a part of the globe where those climate impacts will, by the nature of the atmospheric circulation, be quite severe.

So I think Australia is suffering well in advance of places like North America and Asia and will probably continue to suffer quite severe stress through this