Australia and New Zealand

• The most vulnerable sectors are natural ecosystems, water security and coastal communities. ** C [11.7]

• Many ecosystems are likely to be altered by 2020, even under medium-emissions scenarios [11.4.1]. Among the most vulnerable are the Great Barrier Reef, south-western Australia, Kakadu Wetlands, rain forests and alpine areas [11.4.2]. This is virtually certain to exacerbate existing stresses such as invasive species and habitat loss, increase the probability of species extinctions, and cause a reduction in ecosystem services for tourism, fishing, forestry and water supply. * N [11.4.2]

• Ongoing water security problems are very likely to increase by 2030 in southern and eastern Australia and, in New Zealand, in Northland and some eastern regions, e.g., a 0 to 45% decline in runoff in Victoria by 2030 and a 10 to 25% reduction in river flow in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin by 2050. ** D [11.4.1]

• Ongoing coastal development is very likely to exacerbate risk to lives and property from sea-level rise and storms. By 2050, there is very likely to be loss of high-value land, faster road deterioration, degraded beaches, and loss of items of cultural significance. *** C [11.4.5,11.4.7,11.4.8]

• Increased fire danger is likely with climate change; for example, in south-east Australia the frequency of very high and extreme fire danger days is likely to rise 4 to 25% by 2020 and 15 to 70% by 2050. ** D [11.3.1]

• Risks to major infrastructure are likely to increase. Design criteria for extreme events are very likely to be exceeded more frequently by 2030. Risks include failure of floodplain levees and urban drainage systems, and flooding of coastal towns near rivers. ** D [11.4.5, 11.4.7]

• Increased temperatures and demographic change are likely to increase peak energy demand in summer and the associated risk of black-outs. **D [11.4.10]

• Production from agriculture and forestry by 2030 is projected to decline over much of southern and eastern Australia, and over parts of eastern New Zealand, due to increased drought and fire. However, in New Zealand, initial benefits are projected in western and southern areas and close to major rivers due to a longer growing season, less frost and increased rainfall. ** N [11.4]

• In the south and west of New Zealand, growth rates of economically important plantation crops (mainly Pinus radiata) are likely to increase with CO2-fertilisation, warmer winters and wetter conditions. ** D [11.4.4]

• Increased heat-related deaths for people aged over 65 are likely, with an extra 3,200 to 5,200 deaths on average per year by 2050 (allowing for population growth and ageing, but assuming no adaptation). ** D [11.4.11]

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment