Australian Conservationists call for effective climate change policy

Photo: File
Photo: File

If the government doesn't create an effective climate change policy, towns across western NSW will face hotter temperatures and lower rainfall by the year 2050, a national conservation organisation has revealed. 

An online climate data tool was recently conducted by researchers from the Australian National University (ANU), on behalf of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).

It found that if climate change isn't stopped, by the year 2050 average maximum daily temperatures will rise by more than four degrees Celsius in most parts of the region.

THE ACF is a national environment organisation and according to its website is independent, non-partisan and funded by donations from the community.

Data from the climate tool states that what we experience as winter will no longer exist, with the seasons in the year 2050 to instead be 'new summer', autumn and spring.

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In some areas of NSW, the 'new summer' season will run as early as the middle of October and finish as late as March.

ACF Climate Change and Clean Energy campaigner Suzanne Harter said forests, rivers, droughts, endangered species are being impacted by climate change.

"Unless Australia and the rest of the world genuinely tackle climate change - that means cutting climate pollution - all of these other things are going to be negatively impacted," she said.

Is her role Ms Harter looks at climate as an issue, policy responses and the way Australia, both state and nationally can effectively address climate change.

Ms Harter said for a long time the government has gone without an effective climate policy in place, which has been a real problem.

"If we genuinely want to cut our climate pollution we have to genuinely think about how we transition into clean fuels much more rapidly and smoothly and in ways that take care of communities that have to adjust and that needs government to take that responsibility," she said.

The ACF are calling on the government to establish strong, certain, reliable policies that everybody can understand and communities can work with, Ms Harter said, because to date they haven't done that.

"It's not just calling for us to transition and cut pollution and increase renewable energy it requires an orchestration of that whole thing, which is why we're calling on government," she said.

"We need policy, we need regulations, we need government plans because it doesn't just happen by itself."

Photo: File.

Photo: File.

The government has had an internal battle with climate change and although they've tried several things to address it, Ms Harter described it as a "real rocky road" for them.

"It's an issue they've absolutely got to address," she said.

According to the data, between 1960 and 1990 the average daily maximum temperature at Coonamble was 26.1°C, but would rise to 30.6°C if climate change isn't stopped.

The town will also see 25 per cent less rain on average in the year 2050 compared to that 30 year period.

The average daily maximum temperature at Baradine will also rise 4.5°C by the year 2050, to reach 29.5°C and there will be 22 per cent less rain on average than 1960-90.

The data projects an average daily maximum temperature rise of 4.5°C at Parkes, 4.2°C at Grenfell and 4.4°C at Forbes.

By 2050, there will be 30 per cent less rain on average at Parkes, 31 per cent at Forbes and 29 per cent in Grenfell than 1960-90.

The average daily maximum temperatures at Nyngan, Warren, Nevertire and Trangie is projected to rise 4.4°C by 2050, with tops of 30°C, 29.9°C, 29.3°C and 26.1°C respectively.

By 2050 the towns will also experience less rainfall on average compared to 1960-90, with 25 per cent less at Nyngan, 26 per cent at Warren, 27 per cent in Nevertire and 29 per cent in Trangie.

The daily maximum temperatures at Orange, Blayney, Carcoar and Trunkey Creek are forecast to increase 4.2°C by 2050, reaching 24.5°C, 22.6°C, 23.5°C and 21.6°C respectively.

By 2050 there will be 24 per cent less rain on average at Orange, 19 per cent at Blayney and 21 per cent in Carcoar and Trunkey Creek, than between 1960-90.

In the state's north the daily maximum temperatures are forecast to rise 4.5°C, to 31.5°C at the Bourke and 31.7°C at Walgett.

Both towns will experience a loss of 28 per cent rain on average in 2050 compared to 1960-90.

According to ACF, the 2050 climate projections are based on a 'business as usual' emissions scenario (RCP 8.5), and calculated using the CSIRO ACCESS 1.3 climate model.

They say projections use Consistent Climate Scenario data from the Queensland Government SILO database, under a Creative Commons license. and the CCS data is based on data from the CMIP3 Global Model Database, OzClim and the UK Met Office Hadley Centre.