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Climate Change Kimberley

Climate Change Kimberley

See Kimberley climate report |

Climate & related environmental changes expected

CSIRO classified the Kimberley subregion according to Hobbs et al. classification as ‘Tropical warm-season wet’ (where the moisture index & growth index is high in the warm season and low in the cool season), and the subregion is classified as ‘tropical’ according to ABARE (2012). In this region the most likely impacts of climate change will manifest as:

  • Change in fire seasonality and frequency
    • Potential shift to earlier in the dry season, with lower humidity and stronger winds, earlier curing, longer burning season.
  • Spread of exotics from north during wet season
    • Significant increase in rainfall to allow enhanced translocation of weeds and feral pests (including cane toads and pigs)
  • More intense storms
  • Saltwater incursions into freshwater swamps as a result of sea level rise
  • Push for agriculture (but limited due to most land being on pastoral lease)

 

Projections

Rain_KimbTemp_Kimb

Average annual increase in temperature in the range of +2°C to +4°C by 2050

  • Summer +1°C to +3°C
  • Autumn +1°C to +3°C
  • Winter +1°C to +4°C
  • Spring +1°C to +4°C

Average annual change in rainfall to increase by +2% by 2050

  • Summer -2% to +2%
  • Autumn -5% to +2%
  • Winter -5% to -20%
  • Spring -10% to -20%

Average annual relative humidity to remain approximately constant

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

Annual average wind speed to remain approximately constant

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

Annual average potential evaportranspiration to increase

  • Summer +2% to +8%
  • Autumn +2% to +8%
  • Winter +2% to +8%
  • Spring +8%