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Articles related to climate change

Buzz Aldrin setting up seismic equipment on the Moon in 1969.
Cover Story: Lies, Damn Lies, and Science
Conspiratorial thinking is a major element in the rejection of a broad range of scientific findings, from climate change to tobacco, vaccinations, GM foods and the moon landing. But why?
Browse: Promiscuity May Help Corals Survive Bleaching
Cover Story: Species Are Shrinking
An ingenious experiment has revealed the physiological reasons why many species are becoming smaller in response to global warming, overhunting and overfishing.
Browse: Corals Have the Genes to Adapt to Warmer Oceans
Browse: Glaciers Reveal the Regional Nature of Climate Change Browse: Extreme Fires to Increase
Browse: Fossils Help Determine Ocean’s Role in Last Ice Age Browse: CO2 Rise Threatens Nutrition
Browse: Most Megafauna Extinctions Precede Humans
The passionate debate about the cause of the extinction of Australia’s megafauna has taken yet another turn, with the publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of a paper claiming evidence that most of the giant species were gone before the first humans arrived.
Browse: Heat Waves Increase Risk for Unhatched Geckos
Browse: Value in Seagrass Beds
The carbon stored in the seagrass beds that fringe our coast could be worth billions of dollars if trading schemes to protect forests are extended to the oceans, according to a report in PLOS ONE.
Feature: Volcanoes Sheltered Life through Ice Ages
Researchers studying the diversity of life in Antarctica have found surprising evidence that many plants and animals survived past ice ages by huddling close to warm volcanoes.
Browse: Coral Buffers Itself from Ocean Acidification
 Moorish idol
Feature: Tropical Invaders Seek a Cool Change
As oceans warm, a new study has shown that certain measurable traits may help scientists predict which species of tropical fish will successfully shift into cooler temperate waters.
Browse: Kea Genetics Shaped by Climate, Not People
Genetic variation in New Zealand’s kea is the result of recolonisation of alpine areas since the last ice age 10,000 years ago, and not due to population decline as a result of human colonisation, as initially thought.
Browse: Climate Change Makes Chicks Hatch Early
Browse: Climate Change to Overpower Future Pauses in Warming Browse: Acid Trips Cone Snails
Browse: Antarctic Waters Replicating Prehistoric Sea Level Rise Browse: Greener but Drier
Browse: New Climate Change Projections for Australia
painted rock shelters
Feature: Reaching Australia’s Ancient Refugia
New research reveals how Australia’s ancient Aboriginal populations were challenged by extreme climate change between 23,000 and 12,000 years ago, and provides insights into how people may respond to dramatic climate change in the future.
Browse: Methane-producing Microbe Thaws from the Permafrost
Scientists from The University of Queensland have discovered a microbe that is set to play a significant role in future global warming.
Browse: Ocean Winds Keep Australia Dry and Antarctica Cold
Browse: Sea Levels to Reach Pliocene Levels Browse: Ancient Sea Levels Surged
Sea levels experienced a dramatic surge during the Earth’s last warm period, spelling a warning about what could soon be in store for the world.
Browse: Mass Extinction Event When Australia Split from Antarctica Browse: Moore’s Law Inspires Carbon Reduction Target
Credit: Alessandro Silvano
Feature: The Melting Antarctic Glacier That Could Flood the World
A scientific voyage has revealed startlingly warm waters around a glacier in East Antarctica that could raise global sea levels by 4 metres.
Browse: Humans Affected by Shifting Species
Browse: Lilly Pilly Fossils Reveal Snowless Snowy Mountains
Different phytoplankton species, including diatoms and algae. Image courtesy of
Feature: The Ghosts of Climate Past – and of Climate Future
Ancient plankton DNA is revealing how marine ecosystems have responded to long-lasting changes in past climate – and enabling us to predict the future.
Banded marwong
Feature: Fish in Hot Water
Warming waters in the Tasman Sea may have exceeded the tolerance limits for fish growth. Image: Hugh Pederson
Goldtail damselfish. Credit: Mary Bonin
Feature: A Reef Too Far?
Coral reefs are being subjected to more disturbances than ever before, but a new study has surprisingly found that reef fish can benefit from habitat fragmentation.
Some reef fish require large table corals to conceal them.
Feature: Shade & Light
Climate change is reducing the complexity of coral reefs, with implications for the reef fish that require large table corals to conceal them from predators, prey, and even ultraviolet light.
Feature: Sugar’s Role in Climate Change
Marine plankton account for up to 40% of carbon absorbed by all living things, but their growth is limited in half of the world’s oceans by iron bioavailability. New research has found that marine plankton can produce sugars that improve iron bioavailability – and hence plankton growth.
Credit: iStockphoto
Feature: Ozone Protection Is a Warming Issue
Ozone-depleting chemicals may have been phased out under the Montreal Protocol, but the global warming potential of their replacements is thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide.
A remote-operated vehicle explores the deep reef. © Catlin Seaview Survey
Feature: Deep Impact
The shallow reefs of the Great Barrier Reef are under stress, with a recent report estimating that half of the coral cover has been lost within the past three decades. However, scientists are now discovering healthy coral communities lying in deeper waters adjacent to these disturbed areas. Could these deep reefs hold the key to the survival of the Great Barrier Reef?
DNA analysis of moa bones
Feature: DNA Points to Human Role in Moa Extinction
A new study of ancient DNA has revealed that New Zealand’s giant flightless moa were well-adapted to deal with the effects of climate and habitat change, leaving only overhunting and habitat destruction by humans as reasons for their extinction
A pygmy blue whale feeds on krill in waters off Australia. Credit: research team
Feature: Australian Blue Whales Now Call Antarctica Home
The first evidence of interbreeding between subspecies of blue whales suggest that their ecology is changing, possibly due to historic whaling or climate change.
Feature: Climate Extremes Matter Most for Biodiversity
The world is expected to warm by up to 4°C by 2070, but it is the extreme weather events associated with climate change that threaten biodiversity the most.
Feature: Climate Change according to Australia Post
Postage stamps are time capsules representing the events and issues of their time. Why, then, have Australia’s many stamp issues steered clear of climate change?
A green oasis of Antarctic mosses in the Windmill Islands. Zbyněk Malenovský
Feature: Will Antarctic Oases Remain Green?
Antarctic mosses are threatened by climatic change and human activity, but researchers can now detect their health by analysing spectral patterns imaged from the ground or remotely by drones.
An aphid is tethered by a gold wire
Feature: Plant Viruses Threaten Crops as Climate Warms
Climate change will exacerbate the spread of a virus that reduces the yield of infected wheat by 70%.
Browse: Carbon Storage Passes the Test
CO2 successfully contained underground in south-western Victoria.
Browse: Top 10 Ecosystems Under Threat
Twenty-six ecologists have come together to rate the environmental vulnerability of Australia’s ecosystems, producing an endangered Top 10. Heading up the list are our mountain ecosystems, with global warming, fire and development posing the primary threats.
Browse: Hot Frogs Beat Chytrid
Frogs with a body temperature above 25°C for extended periods of time are able to fend off the chytrid fungus in the wild, according to an Australian Museum study.
Browse: Climate Consensus Is Real
A study of the abstracts of 12,000 peer reviewed papers on climate change has found that 97% of those expressing a position on the causes of climate change attributed it to human activity.
Browse: Climate Uncertainty Reduced
A new way of estimating the uncertainty of the Earth’s average temperature for the rest of this century anticipates warming very similar to predictions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) while narrowing the uncertainty.
Browse: Deserts Are Turning Green
Arguments that the world will benefit from increased plant growth arising from increased atmospheric carbon confirmed by an 11% increase in foliage cover from 1982–2010 in arid regions of Australia, North America and Africa.
Browse: Human Cause of Angry Summer
We can be more than 90% confident that human activity was involved in the “angry summer” of 2012–13, according to Dr Sophie Lewis of the University of Melbourne.
Browse: Final Megafauna Extinctions Not Climate-Related
A study of Australia’s climate and vegetation over 135,000 years has cast doubt on the possibility that the last megafauna extinctions could have been climate-related, while confirming a 20-year-old prediction about the after-effects of the final wave of extinctions.
Browse: Species Relocation Made More Objective
As climate change makes existing habitat unsuitable for many species, conservation managers will increasingly be faced with the decision over whether to relocate their charges to cooler locations. An Australian–New Zealand collaboration has provided a mechanism to assist such judgements.
Browse: Plankton Not Adapting
Cold water plankton are failing to adapt to global warming, and the results will be felt at the fish-and-chip shop counter.
Browse: Climate Variability Increases as the World Warms
The variability in seasonal conditions brought on by El Niño and La Niña events is growing more intense as the world warms, according to a new study from the University of NSW Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.
Browse: Coral Babies Won’t Disperse from Warm Reefs
Browse: Climate Changes Timing of Leaf Growth Browse: Turtle Nests at Risk from Rising Seas
Browse: Mountain Plants Can’t Climb Higher Browse: Fish Dive Deep to Beat the Heat
Browse: 53 Genes Help Reef Fish Respond to Warmer Oceans Browse: The Tennis Is Hotting Up
Browse: World Temperature Could Rise 1.5°C by 2020 Browse: Anthropogenic Warming Goes Back to the 1930s
Browse: Melting Antarctic Ice Sheet Is a “Sleeping Giant” Browse: The Silence of the Shrimp
Browse: Agriculture, Not Fuel, Is Behind Rising Methane Browse: Mangrove Dieback “Unprecedented”
Browse: Can Trees Cope with the Third Degree? Browse: Coral Bleaching Caught on Camera
Browse: Marine study shows how climate change accelerates ecosystem collapse Browse: Evidence that Climate Change Caused Thylacine’s Mysterious Loss from Australia’s Mainland
Browse: Climate Is Driving Migration Browse: Hot Crocs Can’t Hide Long
Browse: Wine Grapes Gasp for Breath Browse: Ocean Waves Triggering Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse
Browse: Three Trillion Tonnes of Ice Lost from Antarctica Since 1992 Browse: Trees Remember Heatwaves
Climate change protest
conSCIENCE: Rise Up, Citizen Scientists
What passes for debate over technological priorities to decarbonise energy production needs to be better informed – and scientists need to lead the discussion.
conSCIENCE: Burying CO2 Is Cool
Carbon capture and storage is a necessary component of any realistic effort to control global warming.
conSCIENCE: Myths about Carbon Storage in Soil
Goals of sequestering carbon in agricultural soil ignore the law of diminishing returns.
Cool Careers: DNA Survives the Heat
Ancient DNA in the Pilbara may give us unprecedented insights into past climate.
Cool Careers: Chronology from the Depths
Aimee Komugabe has abandoned a career in finance to examine deep water corals for evidence of climate change 4000 years ago.
Directions: Nuclear Energy Has a Future in Australia
Australia has compelling reasons to debate the use of nuclear energy as a power source.
Directions: Rethinking Australia’s Carbon Abatement Contracts
Australia’s total net CO2 emissions are much lower than are implied by published numbers.
Directions: Setting the Record Straight on Coral Bleaching
The mass bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef this summer is the most damaging recorded.
Directions: Can Australia Meet the Paris Climate Challenge?
We need to accelerate our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Directions: Cost, Reliability and Scale: Can Renewables Deliver?
The science of climate change is more certain than the economics of how to tackle it.
Directions: We Need to Solve the Energy Trilemma Now
The Finkel Review provides a roadmap to investment in clean energy technologies.
Eco Logic: Reviewing Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services
What is the state of our understanding of the connection between climate change and ecosystem-service assessment?
Eco Logic: Injecting Biodiversity into City Spaces
Cities planning to adapt to climate change should take biodiversity along for the ride.
Eureka!: Dinosaur Farts May Have Warmed the Earth
Scientists estimate that sauropods emitted substantially more methane than modern ruminants.
Expert Opinion: Australia's Megafauna Extinctions: Cause and Effect
Australian research has found new evidence that human hunters were primarily responsible for the disappearance of Australia’s giant vertebrates about 40,000 years ago, and concluded that the extinctions caused changes to the Australian landscape.
Expert Opinion: Experts respond to the IPCC's 5th report on climate change
Experts from Australia, New Zealand and the UK respond to the IPCC's report “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis”.
Expert Opinion: IPCC Report on Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
Experts respond to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Summary for Policymakers on “mitigating climate change, and the underlying technical, economic and institutional requirements”.
Expert Opinion: The Call for Nuclear Energy to Stop Biodiversity Loss
Adelaide ecologists Prof Barry Brook and Prof Corey Bradshaw have called for the promotion of nuclear power to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity in an open letter published in Conservation Biology.
Expert Opinion: Climate Change Authority Report “Untrue and Dangerous”
The Climate Change Authority has called for the introduction of an emissions trading scheme, but two members of its board, David Karoly and Clive Hamilton, have since issued a dissenting minority report calling for stronger measures to reduce emissions.
Expert Opinion: Finkel Review Hedges Its Bets
Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, has unveiled a blueprint for the national electricity market that “risks falling short of Australia’s task and opportunities in reducing carbon emissions”.
Expert Opinion: The Biodiversity Benefits of Limiting Warming to 1.5°C
Global temperatures are on track to rise by 3.2°C by 2100. A new study estimates that if this occurs, 26% of vertebrates, 49% of insects and 44% of plants would be unable to survive in about half of the areas they currently inhabit, compared with just 4% of vertebrates, 6% of insects and 8% of plants if warming is limited to 1.5°C.
Expert Opinion: Labor's 2019 Climate Policy
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has unveiled Labor's climate change policy — the plan it will use to reach its target of cutting emissions by 45% by 2030, and ensure half of Australia's energy comes from renewable sources by 2050.
Fossil File: Kangaroo Teeth Tell Their Story of Evolution
An analysis of kangaroo teeth reveals a rapid burst of evolution in response to the expansion of grassland rather than drier climate conditions.
Lowe Tech: Plimer’s climate change book for kids underestimates science education
Ian Plimer says kids are being taught activism, not science.
Lowe Tech: Like a Rinehart Cowboy
Will more anti-climate change cowboys ride into the media spotlight following Gina Rinehart’s purchase of a stake in Fairfax?
Lowe Tech: Tasmania’s Logging Industry Cut Down to Size
A study has found that Tasmania’s forestry industry “is not economically viable”.
Lowe Tech: Science Literacy Falling
It’s little wonder that climate change science is misunderstood when nearly one-third of Australians believe that the Earth takes only a day to orbit the Sun.
Lowe Tech: Canberra Lowers the Flag on Science
Science has already disappeared from sight in the new Abbott government.
Lowe Tech: PM Freezes Out Science
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s road map for Australia is not being guided by science.
Lowe Tech: Australia Remains Two-Faced in Climate Negotiations
Australia is adopting double-speak as UN climate negotiations become more urgent.
Lowe Tech: The Lucky Country – 50 Years Later
How much has changed since Donald Horne labelled Australia “the lucky country” as a warning about its “second-rate leaders”?
Lowe Tech: Cheap Petrol Signals End of the Oil Age
Petrol prices have dropped as the Saudis recognise that a cheap barrel now is better than a barrel left in the ground tomorrow.
Lowe Tech: Budget Delivers Austerity Measures for Science
Science agencies were delivered substantial funding cuts in the 2015 Budget.
Lowe Tech: Double-speak on Coal
The Turnbull government’s support for the coal industry relies on twisted logic.
Lowe Tech: What We Learned in the Election Campaign
The election revealed a bipartisan lack of understanding of the role of science in innovation and of the coal industry in the fate of the Great Barrier Reef.
Lowe Tech: Yes, Science Minister
The merry-go-round of science ministers raises concerns about instability.
Lowe Tech: A Second Warning to Humanity
Fifteen thousand scientists have issued a warning to humanity that “many current life forms could be annihilated or committed to extinction by the end of this century”.
Lowe Tech: Australia’s Environmental Ranking Trumped
Australia has been ranked third-worst in the developed world for environmental protection, and medical professionals are increasingly concerned about the health impacts of climate change.
Naked Skeptic: Right to Read Denied by Deniers
A research paper about the people who are drawn to conspiracy theories has been permanently retracted due to the threat of litigation by climate change deniers rather than a flaw in the science.
Naked Skeptic: Abuse of a Sound Principle
The Precautionary Principle has been abused in debates about climate change, vaccination and genetically modified food.
Naked Skeptic: Don’t Let Straw Men Give You Hay Fever
Be prepared to face these straw man arguments when arguing with climate change deniers, anti-vaccination advocates and creationists.
Naked Skeptic: Just the Facts, Ma’am
Legislators continue to either refute or ignore science when it clashes with their ideology.
Quandary: The Bioethics of Geoengineering
Ethical guidelines are urgent when considering high-risk technologies to avert the climate crisis.
Quandary: Eugenics Tackles Climate Change
Can a proposal to genetically modify children that are smaller to reduce their carbon footprint be taken seriously?
Simon Says: Energy Twins
If two of the world’s biggest economies are any guide, the energy future will not be clean.
Simon Says: Is Gas Really Better Than Coal?
Despite the best current knowledge and intentions we could be accelerating climate change.
Up Close: Giving off gas: Agriculture's role in greenhouse emissions
Biogeochemist Prof William Horwath explains the impact that modern agriculture has on greenhouse gas emissions from the soil.
Up Close: The end of sustainability: Realism and resilience in managing our natural resources
Environmental legal scholar Prof. Robin Craig argues that the doctrine of sustainability in managing our natural resources fails to take into account an emerging age of ecological uncertainty. Instead, notions of sustainability and sustainable development need to make way for approaches based on resilience thinking, which attempts to factor in and adapt to coming large-scale social and ecological shifts brought about by climate change.
Up Front: An open letter to the Australian Government and CSIRO
Almost 3000 of the world's scientists have signed an open letter to the Australian government and the CSIRO in response to the cuts to CSIRO's climate research.
Up Front: Jobs, Growth and... Science
Early next month Australians will head to the election polls, and for once scientific issues have bubbled to the surface.
Up Front: Evidence Is “Not Like It Used to Be”
Donald Trump’s hair is a metaphor for how people misuse evidence to fit their worldview.
Notice Board: Volunteer divers needed to survey Great Barrier Reef coral and help assess climate change impacts
Research will review how the reef is recovering from recent cyclones and how such extreme physical stress on the reef systems influence coral disease outbreaks.
Online Feature: Science advice and policy making
Lord May examines the challenges facing tomorrow’s world: anthropogenic climate change; feeding more people; and designing a financial system that allocates capital in a responsible and effective way.
Online Feature: State of the Climate 2012
The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO have released an updated summary of Australia’s long term climate trends.
Online Feature: Science under Siege
When the denial machine goes after climate scientists it is, as one of them said, like the marines going into battle against boy scouts.
Online Feature: Two degrees is too much for most coral reefs
A modelling study by an international collaboration of scientists has concluded that increasing global temperatures to 2 degrees above pre-industrial global temperatures will be too hot for two-thirds of the world's corals.
Online Feature: Chemical looping: a carbon capture technology for the future
Chemical looping, a low carbon technology for the fossil fuel industry, is increasingly been viewed as a competitive technology in carbon capture and storage, with the successful completion of pilot plant trials in the USA.
Online Feature: Small Dams Create Bigger Problems
A global push for small hydropower projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may cause significant losses of biodiversity.
Online Feature: Axing the Climate Commission Splits Australians from Science
Australians need people of this calibre to explain the science and economics of climate change, especially when the debate has become so politically polarised.
Online Feature: IPCC Fifth Assessment Report: more certainty, not much news
What new does the IPCC's fifth report have to say about our climate problem?
Online Feature: Big Australian media reject climate science
One third of articles in Australia’s major newspapers do not accept the consensus position of climate science: that human beings are contributing to climate change.
Online Feature: IPCC: emissions cuts are about ethics as well as economics
The dramatic cuts in emissions needed to limit global warming to 2°C raise not just technical and economic challenges but also profound questions of ethics and values.
Online Feature: 'Censored' IPCC summary reveals jockeying for key UN climate talks
Was the IPCC's latest report on climate change censored to suit the agendas of different countries?
Online Feature: Finally, some light relief for the Renewable Energy Target
The Australian government has just received a vitally important report to guide their decisions on the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.
Online Feature: Climate policy needs a new lens: health and well-being Online Feature: Year-on-year bleaching threatens Great Barrier Reef's World Heritage status
Online Feature: The 2017 budget has axed research to help Australia adapt to climate change Browse: Climate Biases Fossil Record of Early Humans
Browse: Genetic Bottlenecks as Gloomy Octopus Drifts South Browse: Whale's Wails Are Out of Tune
Browse: Warming Microbes May Shrink Southern Ocean Carbon Sink