In Australia’s south-west, temperatures have been rising since the mid-1970s. And there is less rain. A one-degree rise in average temperature at Perth airport has seen a doubling of days with temperatures above 40 degrees. Firefighters report earlier fires and longer fires and hotter fires. These fast-changing conditions have their effects on biodiversity. Ecologist Joe Fontaine from Murdoch University is studying the effects on local flora. He reports a species of Banksia producing half its normal amount of seed, meaning it is on the road to extinction.
Lecturer, Environmental Science