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Chapter 5 – Unique Aspects of Australia. Need for Local Data. Australia is a unique continent Climate Wildlife Size Keep in mind where you are getting your data North America (US vs Canada) Europe Need an average value with a normal distribution. 5.2 Land Use.

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Chapter 5 – Unique Aspects of Australia


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    1. Chapter 5 – Unique Aspects of Australia

    2. Need for Local Data • Australia is a unique continent • Climate • Wildlife • Size • Keep in mind where you are getting your data • North America (US vs Canada) • Europe • Need an average value with a normal distribution

    3. 5.2 Land Use • Whole range of categories, but overall a dry climate • Coastal area primary population growth • 62% of land use is agriculture • Sheep and cattle grazing in fragile arid areas • Soil salinity an issue • Only about 15% of forest remaining from European settler days (what is the US)

    4. 5.3 Human Demand for Energy and Water • Australian downtowns more European (public transport), while suburbs are more North American • Lots of gardens/yards (water demand) • Driving in from the suburbs (energy) • Increase in electricity for AC • 2/3 of water is for agriculture • Big exporter of food

    5. 5.4 Bioproduction and Capacity • What is capacity of arid land? • Studies on coastal areas • Wetlands in coastal areas • Pressure on birds, frogs, etc. • Ecological footprint • Rate at which humans are consuming resources

    6. Eco-Footprint • Two essential elements • Measure of land used per person, according to different sectors of the economy and the population’s use of those economic services • Calculation of the energy used per person, based on an equivalent land-area unit based on amount of land need to produce the energy

    7. Current Eco-Footprint • World Wildlife Fund estimates we are over-consuming by 22% (2006) • Large variations among countries • Australia is 3x the world average • 12.4 ha of biocapacity are available, but only 6.6 being used • Australia big food and mineral exporter • Adding biomass could interfere with food

    8. 5.5 Discussion of LCA Implications in Australia • Differences in the input (resource) and output (burden) categories • LCA requires indicators of environmental impact be defined in advance of the assessment • Cant define an overall vision • Can use it to look at overall sustainability • Avoid burden shifting (electric car)

    9. Human Health Aspects • Used for evaluation of toxins • Cancer, asthma, etc. • Dry climate in Australia seems to reduce toxicity of chemicals • Indoor air quality

    10. Land Use Changes • This is a tough one • Biodiesel production • From vegetable oils – canola, rape, soybean, palm • Encourages land to be cleared for oil production, palm is in rainforests • Loss of wildlife habitat, increase in CO2 emissions

    11. Alternative Transport Fuels • Some studies have indicated higher particle emissions • PM causes asthma etc. (linked to 2400 deaths/yr and 17.2 billion $ in Australia) • Mostly rural, some not the impact of urban PM

    12. 5.6 Conclusions • Need local data • Even for us, maybe looking at a small subset of a field (tractor versus automobile mfg) • Numerous other factors, biodiversity, invasive species, can be problematic • Land use changes are difficult to evaluate in Australia (I would argue everywhere) • Water use data is limited for Australia