Ministerial Statement Greenhouse effect
Tabled Paper 999
Tabled Papers for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Marshall Perron
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
- 2 THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT IS ACTUALLY A NATURAL PROCESS WHEREBY GASES SUCH AS CARBON DIOXIDE, NITROGEN OXIDES AND METHANE ABSORB RADIATION AND TRAP HEAT, AND IN TURN WARM THE ATMOSPHERE. WITHOUT THIS PROCESS THERE WOULD BE NO LIFE ON THE PLANET. HOWEVER, HUMAN ACTIVITY SINCE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION HAS ADDED GREENHOUSE GASES TO THE ATMOSPHERE TO SUCH EXTENT THAT IT HAS CAUSED WARMING OF THE ATMOSPHERE AT AN UNPRECEDENTED RATE. THE INCREASE IN GASES IS MAINLY DUE TO THE BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS, THE LOSS OF MUCH OF THE WORLD'S PLANT LIFE AND TROPICAL FORESTS AND EMISSIONS FROM INDUSTRIAL AND AGRICULTURAL PROCESSES. SCIENTISTS WORLDWIDE NOW AGREE THAT IN THE FIRST HALF OF NEXT CENTURY, WE FACE A RISE IN GLOBAL MEAN TEMPERATURES GREATER THAN AT ANY PREVIOUS TIME IN HUMAN HISTORY. LATEST SUGGESTIONS ARE AN INCREASE OF 2 TO 4 DEGREES BY THE YEAR 2040, WITH AN ACCOMPANYING RISE IN SEA LEVEL FROM 20 TO 50 CENTIMETRES. JUST HOW MUCH WORLD CLIMATE WILL CHANGE, IN WHAT WAYS, AND HOW THIS WILL AFFECT THE TERRITORY AND OTHER PLACES IS STILL UNCERTAIN. BUT IT'S IMPORTANT THAT GOVERNMENTS START PLANNING NOW TO LIMIT OR SLOW DOWN THE RISE IN TEMPERATURE AND SEA LEVEL AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND DEVELOP LONG-TERM STRATEGIES SO WE CAN ADAPT TO THE CHANGES THAT CAN'T BE AVOIDED.
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