Capricornia Climate Assessment: Heatwaves, Droughts and Floods to worsen

The Australia Institute’s new Climate Assessment for the electorate of Capricornia has found the electorate could suffer devastating climate impacts unless emissions are cut and climate change is brought under control.

If emissions continue to rise, by 2070 the electorate of Capricornia is projected to experience:

  • Up to twice as many heatwave days per year
  • A single heatwave could last up to over 35 days
  • A 90-130 percent increase in the frequency of droughts and flooding
  • Up to 30 percent increase in evaporation
  • Up to 50 percent reduction in rainfall

“People in this region know how devastating droughts and floods can be. This assessment shows they will become much more frequent and intense over coming decades unless emissions are reduced fast,” says Mark Ogge, Principal Adviser on Climate and Energy at The Australia Institute.

“This is by far the biggest threat to anyone living in Central Queensland — any policy makers who are not serious about tackling climate change are asleep at the wheel.”

“The projected increase in heatwaves in Capricornia is frightening. By 2070, well within our children’s lifetime, there are projected to up to twice as many heatwaves every year, and they could last for up to around 40 days at a time in many areas.

“These changes will impact every aspect of our lives and the economy. Farming would be severely impacted, heat related illness and deaths would rise, anyone working outdoors, or indoor work places without air-conditioning will suffer. Even ordinary recreational activities like sport would become difficult and far less enjoyable. 

“Fortunately, this is not inevitable. We know that if we achieve the 1.5-degree Paris target that almost every country in the world has agreed to, almost all of these impacts can be avoided.

“The great thing is that the steps we need to take to meet this challenge would all be great for the region’s economy. Capricornia has a competitive advantage with its great solar resource and huge opportunities for carbon farming that can provide additional income to farmers. But we need to act now.”

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