Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a space scientist who co-authored the report for SmartThings, says, "Our lives today are almost unrecognizable from those a century ago. Just ten years ago, technology like SmartThings would have been inconceivable, yet today developments like this let us monitor, control and secure our living spaces with the touch of a smartphone, Dr Maggie explained.
Have you ever read David Brin's novel Earth?It was written in 1990. His near-future speculation is already on the mark in a lot of ways, and the direction continues to look pretty accurate.
A hundred kilometres of kelp forests off the western coast of Australia were wiped out by a marine heatwave between 2010 and 2013, a new study has revealed.About 90% of the forests that make up the north-western tip of the Great Southern Reef disappeared over the period, replaced by seaweed turfs, corals, and coral fish usually found in tropical and subtropical waters.The Great Southern Reef is a system of rocky reefs covered by kelp forests that runs for 2,300km along the south coast of Australia, extending past Sydney on the east coast, down to Tasmania and, previously, back up to Kalbarri on the west coast.It supports most of the nation's fisheries, including the lucrative rock lobster and abalone fisheries, and is worth about $10bn to the Australian economy. It is also a global biodiversity hotspot, with up to 30% of species endemic.Dr Thomas Wernberg, from the University of Western Australia's oceans institute and lead author of the study, told the Guardian that 100km of kelp forest died following a marine heatwave in 2011 which saw the ocean temperature increase by 2C.The death of the kelp caused the functional extinction of 370sq km of rocky cool-climate reefs, extending down the coast from Kalbarri, about 570km north of Perth, Western Australia.
Governments must decide which parts of the Great Barrier Reef they most want to save and confront the prospect that some of it may be doomed, an expert on conservation modelling has warned.University of Queensland professor Hugh Possingham said agencies, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, needed to make tough decisions about which parts of the natural wonder are most worth preserving "rather than trying to save everything".Possingham said the looming "triple whammy" of global warming's impact on the reef - warmer seas, more acidity and more cyclones - meant time was running out and "triage" priorities were needed.
Close to 10,000 hectares of mangroves have died across a stretch of coastline reaching from Queensland to the Northern Territory.International mangroves expert Dr Norm Duke said he had no doubt the "dieback" was related to climate change."It's a world-first in terms of the scale of mangrove that have died," he told the ABC.Dr Duke flew 200 kilometres between the mouths of the Roper and McArthur Rivers in the Northern Territory last month to survey the extent of the dieback.He described the scene as the most "dramatic, pronounced extreme level of dieback that I've ever observed".