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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Atmosphere

ATMOSPHERE AND PROGRESS

The atmosphere is an essential component of all ecological systems on Earth. The atmosphere plays a critical role in regulating global, regional and local climate and is essential in supporting life on Earth. Oxygen is required for life, stratospheric ozone protects us from harmful solar radiation, and greenhouse gases help to maintain a temperature range suitable for life.

Climate change is a global issue with both global and regional consequences. Human activity is contributing to the change in climate, which has an impact on Australia's rainfall, temperatures, bushfire frequency, health, heritage, and biodiversity for current and future generations (DCCEE 2010d). The headline indicator for Atmosphere is Australia's net greenhouse gas emissions. The headline indicator can also be compared internationally to assess Australia's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.

Supplementary progress indicators in the Atmosphere dimension include greenhouse gas emissions on a per person basis, by sector and relative to GDP. Changes in the production of renewable energy (which produces relatively few greenhouse gases) is also included as a supplementary progress indicator.

Overall, air quality in Australia is relatively good, but for some places in Australia, such as large cities and mining areas, air quality can be an issue. Therefore, further information has been provided about the air quality in Australia's three major capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane), as well as sulphur dioxide levels around the mining towns of Mt. Isa and Port Pirie. Information is provided on the changes in ozone depleting substances as well as information about temperature anomalies.

For a full list of definitions, please see the Atmosphere glossary.

RELATED PAGES

  • Atmosphere glossary
  • Atmosphere references
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