The following article written by Doctors for the Environment Australia members Mark Braidwood and Catherine Pendrey appeared in MJA InSight (7/4/14) and appears here under Creative Commons licence.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report —Climate Change 2014: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability — released last week is notable for its familiar themes.
We have known about these risks for a long time now and the new report covers the wide range of recent and projected impacts affecting Australia and our global community. It reaffirms the critical importance of strong action to mitigate climate change in order to safeguard a healthy future.
In Australia we have already seen increased mortality and hospital admissions associated with extreme heat events and increased pressure on water supplies.
The new report states, with high confidence, that Australia will face more frequent and intense heatwaves, bushfires, floods, storm surges and droughts. These climatic extremes are expected to increase the risk of injury, disease and death.