Why do we need to consider potential impacts of climate change?
Through 'Our Future Plan' we specifically consider the impact of climate change on the region. This plan identifies key strategies for improved natural resource management in the face of a changing climate.
The CSIRO has released the latest projections of climate change in Australia. These are available here.
Key messages for our region are that:
- average temperatures will continue to increase in all seasons
- there will be more hot days, warm spells and fewer frosts
- average winter and spring rainfall is projected to decrease. Changes in summer and autumn rainfall are possible but unclear at this stage
- the intensity of extreme daily rainfall events will increase
- we will experience harsher fire-weather climate
- natural variability in the climate system is likely to either mask or enhance longer-term trends in human induced changes to rainfall over the next 20 years. (CSIRO 2015).
These latest results are consistent with the results of previous modelling used to inform the ClimateQ: toward a greener Queensland report (DERM 2009).
In the Maranoa-Balonne, the expectation is for:
- an increase of up to 5oC by 2070
- an increase in the number of days above 35oC, for example, St George may have more than twice the number of days above 35oC from 53 per year to 116 per year while
- rainfall projections are less certain, ranging from an increase of 17% to a decrease of 34% by 2070 (with a decrease in winter rainfall the most likely outcome under all scenarios), and
- evaporation could increase by 6-15%.
In the Border Rivers, the expectation is for:
- an increase of up to 4.5oC by 2070
- an increase in the number of days above 35oC, for example, the area may have more than three times the number of days above 35oC from 31 per year to 93 per year while
- rainfall is projected to either rise by 16% or decrease by 32% by 2070 (with a decrease the most likely outcome under all scenarios) and
- evaporation could increase by 7-15%.