Climate change data to guide local decisions

World leading research funded by the NSW Government is now available to communities, with climate projections out to 2070 and down to the nearest 10 kilometres, allowing the community to base adaptation decisions on the best available science.

Earth seen from Apollo 17

Environment Minister Rob Stokes today said the new data had been developed following a research partnership between the NSW and ACT governments and climate modellers at the University of NSW Climate Change Research Centre.

“The development of this information was a commitment from the NSW Government as part of the NSW 2021 state plan, and it is an important duty for a responsible government to help communities understand future risk,” Mr Stokes said.

“Individuals and local government will be able to access the information through the NSW Government’s new interactive climate information portal which gives information simply by entering a location.

“Our role is to deliver the best available climate information and make it accessible to local decision makers so they can decide what actions are appropriate to minimise the potential risks of climate change.

“We’ve spoken to farmers and councils across the state who have said the portal will provide valuable information for long term planning of their business and development.

“This portal will be part of a continuing release of information about how climate will impact soils, biodiversity, bushfires, coastal impacts and flooding.

“The NSW Government had formed partnerships with several NSW universities to develop our research on how to adapt to climate change.

“Climate change adaptation is all about the ability of our regional communities to respond, adapt and take up opportunities.

Changes in NSW include:

  • NSW is expected to experience an increase in average maximum and minimum temperatures for the near future (2030) and far future (2070);
  • By 2070 NSW average temperatures will be 2.1 degrees higher than now;
  • Summer and spring will see the largest change, with maximum temperatures up to 3 degrees higher than now by 2070;
  • By 2070 the north-west may see over 40 additional hot days a year with over one third of the year experiencing maximum temperatures above 35 degrees;
  • Along the Great Dividing Range and the Tablelands there will be fewer cold nights, potentially impacting on natural ecosystems, snow tourism and cool climate agriculture. In the Snowy Mountains there will be up to 40 fewer nights with temperatures below 2 degrees;
  • Annual average rainfall will not change significantly, but there will be changes in seasonal rainfall. Spring rainfall in southern NSW and the Riverina will decrease by over 10 per cent;
  • The greatest increases in severe fire weather will occur west of the Great Dividing Range during spring; and
  • Increases in severe fire weather days during spring may increase bushfire risk and reduce opportunities for hazard reduction burning.

To access this information please visit AdaptNSW: Understanding and adapting to climate change impacts in New South Wales