In his 2006 landmark report on how we should respond to the climate crisis, Nicholas Stern characterised global warming as an ‘externality’, a damage to others due to market activity whose cost is not met by those who cause it.Indeed, Stern characterised climate change as ‘the largest ever market failure’. In other words, the problem of global warming arises because the market system is not working well enough, and if we could find a way to correct the fault then the problem would be solved.
A few years ago in a lab in Panama, Klaus Winter tried to conjure the future. A plant physiologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, he planted seedlings of 10 tropical tree species in small, geodesic greenhouses. Some he allowed to grow in the kind of environment they were used to out in the forest, around 79 degrees F. Others, he subjected to uncomfortably high temperatures. Still others, unbearably high temperatures — up to a daily average temperature of 95 F and a peak of 102 F. That’s about as hot as Earth has ever been.
The issue of climate change has had a significant and polarising impact on Australian politics in recent years. The political fortunes of several major players have revolved around it. While Kevin Rudd’s call to arms on the “great moral challenge of our generation” was rhetorically memorable, the debate in Australia has largely focused on developing policies that do not significantly alter the economic status quo.Since 2007, when Rudd capitalised on the zeitgeist of climate change concern, the political debate has shifted from advocating policies to deal with the challenge to those that “axe the tax”. Australian politics has wrestled with climate change as both an existential global scientific phenomenon and a parochial political and ideological issue.
Thrift grows tenacious at the tide’s reach.What is that reach when the wateris rising, rising?
Our melting, shifting, liquid world won’t waitfor manifesto or mandate, eachwarning a reckoning.
Ice in our gin or vodka chirrups and squeaksdissolving in the hot, still airof talking, talking.
Animals that live in cold, stable environments may suffer more as the climate changes, suggests new research on the ability of mosquitofish to deal with temperature increases.The study, published today in the journal Royal Society Open Science, showed that mosquitofish acclimatised to live in colder water did worse when temperatures were raised.”Our research shows that some animals that live in colder climates now will suffer as temperatures becomes more variable due to climate change,” says Dr Frank Seebacher from the University of Sydney.
Victorians have been treated to what appears to be a rare cloud formation known as a Fallstreak Hole.
Interactive: 100 years of temperatures in AustraliaUse our interactive map to explore 100 years of annual average temperatures across Australia.
Record late-autumn warmth is sending plant growth into spring-like behaviour, affecting fruit growers and city gardeners alike.
Rather than shutting down as winter approaches, many plants are flowering out of season or extending growth much later than usual, said Brett Summerell, deputy executive director of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
At the gardens, vegetables such as tomatoes, crops such as corn, and even the humble glass blade continue to flourish, diverting staff to mowing and other duties.