Dbytes #455 (10 December 2020)

Info, news & views for anyone interested in biodiversity conservation and good environmental decision making


“Over the coming 50 years, 1 to 3 billion people are projected to be left outside the climate conditions that have served humanity well over the past 6,000 years,”
Xu et al, 2020 (see item 4) [and then reflect on items 1,2 and 3]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Climate change now top threat to natural World Heritage – IUCN report
2. Climate change is resulting in profound, immediate and worsening health impacts, over 120 researchers say
3. Measuring What Matters: A New Approach to Assessing Sovereign Climate Risk
4. Future of the human climate niche
5. VicForests allowed to resume logging despite risk of ‘irreversible damage’ in fire-hit Gippsland
6. Reforming Australia’s national environmental law
7. Transforming Australia SDG progress report

-~<>~-

1. Climate change now top threat to natural World Heritage – IUCN report

Gland, Switzerland, 2 December 2020 (IUCN) – Climate change is now the biggest threat to natural World Heritage, according to a report published today by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). A third (33%) of natural World Heritage sites are threatened by climate change, including the world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef, assessed as having a “critical” outlook for the first time.

Climate change now top threat to natural World Heritage – IUCN report | IUCN

And see Great Barrier Reef outlook ‘critical’ as climate change called number one threat to world heritage
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/03/great-barrier-reef-outlook-critical-as-climate-change-called-number-one-threat-to-world-heritage

-~<>~-

2. Climate change is resulting in profound, immediate and worsening health impacts, over 120 researchers say

Climate change is resulting in profound, immediate and worsening health impacts, and no country is immune, a major new report from more than 120 researchers has declared. This year’s annual report of The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, released today, presents the latest data on health impacts from a changing climate.

https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-resulting-in-profound-immediate-and-worsening-health-impacts-over-120-researchers-say-151027

-~<>~-

3. Measuring What Matters: A New Approach to Assessing Sovereign Climate Risk

41% of the global population and 57% of the economy could be exposed to flooding by 2040 and over a third of today’s agricultural land will be under high water stress.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201203005359/en/Measuring-What-Matters-A-New-Approach-to-Assessing-Sovereign-Climate-Risk

-~<>~-

4. Future of the human climate niche

We show that for thousands of years, humans have concentrated in a surprisingly narrow subset of Earth’s available climates, characterized by mean annual temperatures around ∼13 °C. This distribution likely reflects a human temperature niche related to fundamental constraints. We demonstrate that depending on scenarios of population growth and warming, over the coming 50 y, 1 to 3 billion people are projected to be left outside the climate conditions that have served humanity well over the past 6,000 y. Absent climate mitigation or migration, a substantial part of humanity will be exposed to mean annual temperatures warmer than nearly anywhere today.

https://www.pnas.org/content/117/21/11350

And see Marten Scheffer explain the consequences of this finding at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROtJXNES1aY&feature=youtu.be

-~<>~-

5. VicForests allowed to resume logging despite risk of ‘irreversible damage’ in fire-hit Gippsland

Victoria’s publicly owned forestry agency has been allowed to restart logging in bushfire-ravaged east Gippsland despite a warning from a regulator there was a risk of “serious and irreversible damage” to the state’s biodiversity. A report released under freedom of information laws show the state’s conservation regulator twice wrote to VicForests during and after last summer’s catastrophic bushfires advising it should apply the “precautionary principle” when logging in the area.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/08/vicforests-allowed-to-resume-logging-despite-risk-of-irreversible-damage-in-fire-hit-gippsland

-~<>~-

6. Reforming Australia’s national environmental law

Our national government has been quietly planning to devolve most decision-making under the EPBC Act to the States before a major review of the Act hit the deck. It looks like they’ve failed but their machinations behind the scenes bear scrutiny.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

-~<>~-

7. Transforming Australia SDG progress report

How is Australia going on meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals?

-The report shows that Australia is performing well in health and education, but is failing to reduce CO2 emissions, waste and environmental degradation, and to address cost of living pressures and economic inequality.

-Of the 56 indicators examined in this report, only 12 are assessed as on track to meet the 2030 targets. 23 indicators are assessed as off track, 11 are classified as breakthrough needed and 10 need improvement.

-The report also shows COVID-19 has exacerbated trends — including higher levels of unemployment, poverty and psychological distress — that were emerging before COVID-19, and that could fracture Australian society.

Transforming Australia SDG progress report | APO

-~<>~-

About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. From 2007-2018 Dbytes was supported by a variety of research networks and primarily the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). From 2019 Dbytes is being produced by David Salt (Ywords).

If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David.Salt@anu.edu.au. Please keep them short and provide a link for more info.

Anyone is welcome to receive Dbytes. If you would like to receive it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s