Climate change is the rise in the planet's average temperature caused by the effects of burning fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere.
Climate change caused by humans (anthropogenic climate change) is due to increased greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere as a result of activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
The impacts of climate change
Climate change has negative impacts including more extreme weather events, ocean acidification and stresses on human populations.
More extreme weather events
By 2030 Australia is expected to experience:
- up to 20 percent more months of drought
- up to 25 percent increase in days of very high or extreme fire danger
- increases in storm surges and severe weather events.
Altered patterns in rainfall and weather patterns will result in increased flooding, bushfire risk and will threaten food production.
Oceans are carbon sinks and can absorb carbon dioxide. Due to increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human activities our oceans are absorbing more carbon dioxide and becoming acidic.
Since industrialisation the world’s oceans have absorbed one third of carbon dioxide from human activities. The resulting acidity is affecting coral reefs and survival of marine species.
Stresses on human populations
More extreme weather events and an increase in the number of heat waves will place pressure on vulnerable sections of the community, our health systems and infrastructure.
Predicted increased frequency of flooding and drought will also place significant pressure on our agricultural systems and food production in the future.
What is the Western Adelaide Region Climate Change Adaptation Plan project?
The City of West Torrens, in conjunction with the Cities of Port Adelaide Enfield and Charles Sturt is undertaking the Western Adelaide Region Climate Change Adaptation Plan project (WARCCAP).
The Western Adelaide Region Climate Change Adaptation project seeks to create a co-ordinated and collaborative program of strategies to reduce vulnerability of the Western Adelaide Region’s community, environment and infrastructure to the effects of climate change.
The project will be delivered in four stages to identify risks and opportunities associated with climate change, and develop a plan to assist the community, government and other agencies across the Western Adelaide Region adapt to climate change.
The Western Adelaide Region Climate Change Adaptation Plan is one of twelve regional projects being implemented as part of the Climate Change Adaptation Framework for South Australia. The Climate Change Adaptation Framework will help drive climate change adaptation at a regional level, whilst avoiding any overlap or gaps in climate change adaptation across the state.
Stage 1 has been completed and the report can be downloaded below.