Climate change poses a threat to urban air quality and health through increases in particulate pollution (associated with more frequent bushfires and dust storms), and increases in the formation of ozone and other components of photochemical smog.
Climate change is an increasingly important and pervasive pressure on all aspects of the Australian environment. Although our climate and its high natural variability from year to year have always been a major influence on the state of the Australian environment, strong evidence shows that the cl
The section should be read in conjunction with the Heritage report. Much of the data in the Heritage report include the coastal zone, so it is summarised here and readers are directed to the Heritage report for detail.
Australia’s native vegetation and habitats have been severely affected since European colonisation. Almost 40 per cent of forest (Bradshaw 2012) and more than 90 per cent of grasslands have been lost or heavily degraded.
The past 5 years have been characterised by extreme weather events, many with strong impacts on the coast. In 2011, a marine heatwave in Western Australia decimated kelp forests, causing profound changes in ecosystem structure that have yet to be reversed.
Emissions from commercial and domestic sources (domestic wood heaters are considered separately) exert pressure on local air quality and on airshed quality. Domestic sources, for example, can affect photochemical smog by releasing VOCs.
Commercial premises can pose a threat to health and amenity at the local level, mainly through emissions of particles and VOCs. VOC sources include aerosols, surface-coating operations and solvents (the latter being a particular cause of odour complaints).
Cumulative impacts management is the process of determining the desired future state of an ecosystem, and how this will be achieved through control of developments that may have direct, indirect or interactive impacts on that ecosystem (
Australia State of the Environment 2016 has been prepared by independent experts using the best available information to support assessments of environmental condition, pressures, management effectiveness, resilience, risks and outlook.
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We, the authors, acknowledge the traditional owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community; we pay respect to them and their cultures and to their elders both past and present.