Home Science Climate Sleeping weeds in Australia awake. Why? Climate change!

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A CSIRO report states that climate change in Australia will wake up  numerous species of sleeper weeds, which will only add to the over $4 billion per year that it costs to control weeds, not to mention the adverse problems it causes to the environment.


According to the March 26, 2009 CSIRO media release Climate change may wake up ‘sleeper’ weeds, “Climate change will cause some of Australia’s potential weeds to move south by up to 1000km [kilometers], according to a report by scientists at CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship.”

The Climate Adaptation Flagship is one of nine Flagships initiated by CSIRO (short for Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) in order to provide science-based solutions to the problems facing Australia.

Dr. John K. Scott, a principle research scientist at CSIRO, spoke about this problem at the GREENHOUSE 09 climate-change conference held in Perth on March 23-26, 2009.
 
Scott stated, “Out there, throughout the nation, are many weed species lying low but with the potential to take off and add to the economic and social burden of weed control.”

He adds, “One critical unknown is what these lurking weeds will do under climate change. Will their distributions change? Will they spread north or south, east or west, and will these movements change them into full-blown pest species?”

These “sleeper” species, the classification they are called in agriculture, are weeds that normally are dormant or benign because the climate is not conductive to their growth.

However, with warmer temperatures throughout the world, many of these weed species are taking on a new life. They post a threat to agriculture in Australia but also to the natural environment, where they are called “alert” species.

Page two talks more about sleeper weeds, along with adding further comments from Dr. Scott.

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

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