Scientist Joe Fontaine on How Climate Change Impacts West Australia's Biodiversity

The Science Show
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Hi this week. The fires in north america continued to blaze and temperatures in places went to heights. Hardly seen before. So what about here. Both in the east and west where we experienced similar heat and firestorms. Dr joe fontaine is an ecologist originally from oregon now at murdoch university in perth. Well here in the south west of australia we know that the climate's been drying since the mid seventies and we also know that temperatures been going up and one of the things about this region is that we know it's the early canary in the coal. Mine it has been undergoing these events and this process much more so than a lot of other parts of the planet in part because it's a mediterranean climate and so impacts of the climate change for example. We know that. Say the perth airport here. A one degree change in the average has more than doubled the number of days over forty degrees celsius since the early nineteen hundreds that's substantial and that has substantial impact on our biodiversity. Where'd you go to look to your search because vast area to cover isn't it it is it's a treat. I've been really lucky. So i came from overseas originally and then within two and a half days of lending in perth i was in a car and i was headed up to the mid west. So north of perth. This beautiful shrub lands beautiful beaches and really amazing plant diversity. And that's where. I started working and we were doing experimental fires and then in the year sense of migrated south closer to town and i work in woodland's around the city and also in the forests east of the city. Well south of here in purse. You've got a biodiversity hotspot global one. The most amazing variety of plants on have you looked into that area as well absolutely. We're surrounded by biodiversity hotspot. If you just go on the north side of perth in the woodland's here. A ten meter by ten major area can have one hundred species of plants. A hundred when i go home to california and visit my family i love it. I love the landscape. But i have to look around and go. Oh sorry plants. you're a little bit boring.

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