Setting climate change targets to protect the Great Barrier Reef

McGrath, Christopher J. (2007) Setting climate change targets to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 24(3), pp. 182-197.

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Abstract

This article examines what targets should be set to avoid severe impacts to the Great Barrier Reef from climate change. Policy targets of stabilising atmospheric greenhouse gases and aerosols at 450-550 parts per million carbon dioxide equivalents, to limit increases in mean global temperatures to 2-3°C over pre-industrial levels, are likely to be too high to avoid severe impacts of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Stabilising greenhouse gases and aerosols around year 2000 levels, giving a net effect of around 370 parts per million carbon dioxide equivalents, and allowing a rise in mean global temperatures of 1°C, appear to be the highest targets that should be set if the Great Barrier Reef is to be protected from serious degradation. Current policies are far from achieving or even setting these objectives and, consequently, severe impacts to the Great Barrier Reef are likely in coming decades.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 19334
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0813-300X
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2009 05:10
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:03

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