Smoke from domestic wood heaters remains a significant source of air pollution in some urban areas, regional towns and lower-density settlements, often contributing up to 50 per cent of the PM2.5 pollution on winter days.
Drivers influencing the Australian environment are covered in detail in the Drivers report, and readers are encouraged to refer to that report. We briefly summarise the drivers influencing the marine environment here.
Assessing water-related ecological processes and species populations further indicates the health of aquatic ecosystems. Processes and populations add a layer of assessment that integrates many of the individual parameters assessed in previous sections.
The growing concentrations of human-generated GHGs have resulted in an increased absorption, largely in the lower atmosphere, of the heat radiated from Earth’s surface, causing an increase in the global (land and ocean) mean surface temperature of 0.85 ± 0.20 °C from 1880 to 2012 (
Impacts of energy and resource extraction on the coast mostly result from the development, expansion and maintenance of ports for processing and export, and the infrastructure needed to extract diffuse energy sources such as coal-seam gas.
Australia has more than 100 laws and policy instruments addressing aspects of management of the marine environment, and many incorporate principles such as sustainable development (Haward & Vince 2008).
The resilience of heritage places depends on the nature of their values and the extent of the total resource. Australian bioregions that are well represented in the reserved lands system are much more resilient as a whole than under-represented bioregions.
A major systemic threat to Australia’s heritage is its relative priority in planning, land use and development decision-making. Heritage is often determined to be expendable in the name of a greater community or economic good.
The Inland water report assesses the state and trends of freshwater-related ecological processes and key species populations, with grades ranging from very poor with worsening trends across the Murray–Darling Basin, through poor to g
Despite recognition that the pressures described in Pressures affecting biodiversity have a key role in shaping biodiversity at the species and community levels, the role of these pressures in shaping patterns and distribution of genetic di
All recent state and territory SoE reports note the adverse effects of global climate change on biodiversity. These increasingly include extreme weather, as well as bushfire, drought, cyclones and flood.
Although isolated from other continents, Antarctica is connected to the rest of the world through oceanic and atmospheric circulations. Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean are key drivers of Earth’s oceanic and atmospheric systems.
Identifying and protecting heritage places is fundamental to ensuring that they are appropriately conserved, celebrated and passed on to future generations. The reasons to consider heritage as a discrete part of the environment and to list heritage places include:
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.