Saturday, 9 December 2017

Tasmanian waters are waring more quickly than the rest of the world

Waters off Maria Island warming more quickly than the rest of the world
WATERS off Maria Island on Tasmania’s East Coast will be as warm as those at Batemans Bay in New South Wales as early as 2060, according to a new Senate Inquiry report.


7 December, 2017



The report into the impacts of climate change on marine fisheries and biodiversity was tabled in Federal Parliament yesterday, with Tasmania a key focus.

IMAS scientist Professor Stewart Frusher told the inquiry that waters off Maria Island were already as warm as waters off Eden in southern New South Wales were in the 1940s.

His colleague Dr Neville Barrett said the waters near Maria Island would warm to the same temperatures as those off Batemans Bay by “at best case, 2100 and, at worst case, 2060.”

The warming is related to the increased strength of the East Australian Current.

The CSIRO submitted that “for the Tasmanian coast, it is expected the water will continue to warm faster than the rest of the world as more warm East Australian water moves southward ...”

Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson instigated the inquiry after a marine heatwave hit Tasmania’s East Coast in 2015-16, with temperatures 2.9C above average for 250 days.
The report noted temperature increases had caused issues in growth rates of salmon, abalone and rock lobster.
The report addressed the impacts of Pacific oyster mortality syndrome and kelp forest deaths due to urchin barrens — impacting on habitats and biomass of abalone and rock lobster.
The report made 15 recommendations to the Federal Government including:
A REVIEW into funding provided for research into the effects of and adapting to climate change on the marine environment.
BUILDING relationships between the fishing and aquaculture industry and research organisations to help industry understand and adjust to the effects of climate change.
Senator Whish-Wilson said Tasmanian scientists and aquatic industries needed to discuss climate change together for both the environment and industry.
Tasmania is a global hotspot for warming oceans and is showing signs of rapid, frightening change, quite unlike other parts of the world,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.
We need to employ a co-ordinated approach across science and industry to work out what this change means for our state and put in place plans that build resilience for industry and the environment to better deal with it.”



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