Climate Change Gascoyne

Climate Change Gascoyne

See Gascoyne climate report |

Climate and related environmental changes expected

The great majority of the Gascoyne subregion is classified according to Hobbs et al. as “Dry”, where the moisture and growth indicies are high in the warm season, and low in the cool season (CSIRO, 2008), and “Arid” according to ABARE (2012). In this region the most likely impacts of climate change will manifest as follows:

  • Fire will be important but limited by growth rates and grazing
  • More summer and autumn rain may increase suitability for new species from north and new pasture species
  • Potential for overgrazing high as productivity decreases with reduced annual average rainfall and increasing temperatures
  • Pastoralism may decline with some retirement of drying areas
  • Reduced ground and surface water would have big impact on agriculture and refuge dependent native flora and fauna
  • Salt incursions into freshwater swamps and rising salt in groundwater systems as a result of reduced freshwater/rain infiltration, along with other pressures on coastal resources including habitat availability that may be lost due to sea level encroachment

 

Projections

Rain_Gasc
Temp_Gasc
Average annual increase in temperature in the range of +1°C to +2°C by 2050

  • Summer +1°C to +2°C
  • Autumn +1°C to +1.5°C
  • Winter +1°C to +1.5°C
  • Spring +1°C to +2°C

Average annual change in rainfall of -2% to +10% by 2050

  • Summer -2% to +5%
  • Autumn -2% to +5%
  • Winter -5% to +10%
  • Spring -5% to +10%

Average annual relative humidity to generally decrease by -1% to -3% 2050

  • Summer -0.5% to -2%
  • Autumn -1% to -2%
  • Winter -1% to -3%
  • Spring -1% to -2%

Annual average wind speed to remain constant through to a +5% increase by 2050

  • Summer +0% to +2% (northern extent no change to -2% reduction)
  • Autumn +2% to +10% (northern extent no change to 2%)
  • Winter -5% to -10% (northern extent no change to 5%)
  • Spring remain constant

Annual average potential evapotranspiration will remain unchanged or increase by up to +4% by 2050

  • Summer 0% to +4%
  • Autumn +2% to + 4%
  • Winter +2% to +4%
  • Spring +0% to +4%