What are the projected impacts for Tasmania?
The Climate Futures for Tasmania project found that the following projected changes are likely by 2100. The projections are based on two of the emissions scenarios set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- Tasmanian temperatures are projected to rise by about 2.9° Celsius under the high emissions scenario, and about 1.6° Celsius under the low emissions scenario.
- There is no significant projected change to total annual rainfall for Tasmania under the two emissions scenarios.
- However, significant changes are projected in the seasonal cycle. These include increases of 20 to 30 per cent in summer and autumn rainfall along the east coast and on the west coast, 15 per cent increases in winter, and 18 per cent decreases in summer rainfall.
- Runoff is affected by changes to both rainfall and evapotranspiration (where water lost from the land surface is both evaporated and transpired by plants). By 2100 it is projected that there will be a slight increase in the State’s total amount of runoff.
- However, runoff is projected to decrease markedly in Tasmania’s central highlands, and increase in the important agricultural regions of the Derwent Valley and the Midlands.
- an increase in heat waves and more hot summer days
- extreme rainfall events
- an increase in storm instances, which is likely to result in increased coastal erosion and inundation
- rising sea levels of between 0.39 and 0.89 meters by 2090
- an increase in ocean acidification levels and East Coast water temperature by up to 2-3 degrees Celsius by 2070 (relative to 1990 levels)
- longer fire seasons and more days at the highest range of fire danger
- river flooding in some catchments and
- drought in some parts of the State.
- By 2100, it is projected that the incidence of frost will reduce by about half. For many areas in Tasmania, the period of frost risk is also projected to shorten from March-December (10 months) to May-October (6 months).
What do we do with our knowledge?
The Tasmanian Government is working with communities, businesses and households to reduce the risks associated with these projected changes in our climate, and to minimise the potential for damage to our environment, assets and infrastructure.
Changes to the climate may also present opportunities for Tasmania. For example, because Tasmania’s climate is milder than other Australian states, the impacts of climate change in many cases will be more moderate. This could be beneficial for the agriculture, aquaculture and viticulture industries. A milder climate may also increase Tasmania’s standing as a tourism destination and potentially increase immigration, helping to deliver a stable and sustainable population that supports local economic growth.