The first detailed climate change projections for the ACT show the territory can expect hotter summers, warmer winters, drier springs and an increase in the number of days with severe fire weather, Minister for the Environment, Simon Corbell, said.
New climate change projections funded by the ACT and NSW governments and produced by the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre provide an unparalleled level of detail that will inform and drive actions to reduce the ACT’s vulnerability to climate change.
“The best minds in the field of climate change science were brought together as part of the NSW and ACT Regional Climate Modelling project to deliver these projections using the most advanced projection techniques,” Mr Corbell said.
“The ACT Government is proud to have worked with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and climate modellers at the University of NSW Climate Change Research Centre to deliver this world-leading research project.”
The NSW and ACT Regional Climate Modelling (NARCliM) research provides information down to the nearest 10 km, providing the finest detail yet of near future (2030) and far future (2070) climate projections.
The projections indicate that if the world continues warming at its current rate the ACT will warm by about 0.7oC during the near future (2020–2039), increasing to about 2 oC in the far future (2060–2079) with the number of hot days expected to increase.
The projections show up to five extra days above 35oC in the territory by 2030 and up to 20 extra days above that mark by 2070.
Rainfall in the ACT is projected to decrease in spring and increase in summer and autumn contributing to an increase in average fire weather in spring, summer and winter as well as an increase in the number of severe fire weather days in summer and spring.
“The NARCliM projections will inform planning for our emergency and health services and ensure our actions will maintain our city’s liveability by providing a built environment with amenity, green space, shade and shelter,” Mr Corbell said.
“The projections will help us to better care for those most vulnerable in our community and to protect and manage our natural environment such as our nationally significant woodland communities.”
The projections also show a reduction in the number of cold nights, with the territory expected to dip below 2 oC an average of 13 fewer times each year by 2030 and 43 fewer times each year by 2070.
“I commend the University of NSW for their work on these projections and look forward to continued collaboration as the challenges we face do not stop at the border and require a coordinated strategic approach to resolve,” Mr Corbell said.
“These projections highlight the need for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions locally as part of a global effort. That is why the ACT is committed to its target of 90% renewable energy by 2020 as part of a 40% reduction in carbon emissions.”
(Simon Corbell Media Release)