What is climate change?
While the weather can change from day to day, from rain to snow to sunshine, the climate is the long-term picture of conditions.
Today, our planet – and its climate – is changing at an unprecedented rate. Every year, climate change is making its presence known with an intensity that we’ve never seen before.
And Australia is not immune.
Our country is home to an amazing array of unique plants and animals. More than 80% of Australia's flowering plants, mammals, reptiles, frogs and almost 50% of our birds occur nowhere else on Earth. However, our incredible country is losing species at an unprecedented rate and climate change is a key danger.
There are many ways climate change can affect Australia’s species, including:
- Extreme weather changes and extreme temperatures.
- Change in rainfall patterns.
- More intense tropical cyclones (with increased wind speeds).
- Longer and more intense periods of drought.
- Catastrophic bushfires.
- Inland and coastal flooding.
What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the single word used to describe the variety of all living things on Earth.
There’s no place on this planet where you can’t find life, and each life has a role to play in keeping our natural systems working. This is biodiversity.
There are tens of millions of different species sharing our world with us, and most of them are dependent upon each other for life. The diversity of living organisms keeps the web of life strong and resilient. But if climate change and other impacts like unsustainable land use, deforestation, pollution and poaching continue at the current rate, the web of life will be at risk.