Climate change impacts for Western Australia
Over many decades thousands of scientists have painted an unambiguous picture: the global climate is changing and humanity is almost surely the primary cause. The risks have never been clearer and the case for action has never been more urgent.
- Western Australia, particularly the south-west, is vulnerable to climate change.
- Rainfall patterns in Western Australia have changed over the last 40 years. There is significant evidence that climate change has contributed to the marked drying trend in the southwest of the state. This has had serious implications for urban water supplies and agriculture.
- Sea levels along the west coast of Australia have been rising at more than double the global average. With significant part of the population living in coastal cities and towns, rising sea levels pose significant risks to Western Australia’s coastal infrastructure and iconic sandy beaches.
- Western Australia is home to internationally recognised biodiversity, already stressed by habitat fragmentation and further threatened by a changing climate. Suitable habitat for a range of iconic species including the quokka, Carnaby’s cockatoo and the tingle tree is likely to be substantially reduced as the climate changes. The world famous Ningaloo Reef, like other coral reefs, is highly sensitive to a changing climate. The reef, and the multi-million dollar tourism industry it supports, faces significant long-term risks from a changing climate.
- This is the critical decade for action. The choices we make between now and 2020 will shape our future. To minimise climate change risks we must begin to decarbonise our economy and move to cleaner energy sources this decade. The longer we wait the more difficult and costly it will be. Western Australia has abundant potential for expanding renewable energy generation, with some of the best wind and solar resources in Australia.
Find out more
- Download the full report, Western Australia climate change impacts.
- Read more about the Commission’s report on climate change science, The Critical Decade.
- Find out about the Climate Commission’s visit to Bunbury and Perth.
- 19 June 2013 - Gold Coast Community Forum
- 5 December 2012 - Adelaide community forum