The future, and how to deal with it…

The North Central Catchment Management Authority is holding a series of forums on climate change, the natural environment and sustainable agriculture in the region through August. The Castlemaine forum will be held at the Campbell’s Creek Community Centre at 7 pm on August 31.  A light supper will be provided. Contact the CMA to RSVP for catering purposes [ or phone (03) 5448 7124]. The CMA’s Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan can be found here.


Climate projections for the North Central region [CSIRO and BOM, January 2015] Level of confidence
Average temperatures will continue to increase in all seasons Very high
More hot days and warm spells Very high
Fewer, but possibly damaging, frosts High
By late in the century, less rainfall during the cool season High
Rainfall will remain unchanged in the warm season Medium
Even though mean annual rainfall is projected to decline, heavy rainfall intensity is projected to increase High
A harsher fire-weather climate in the future High


And a seminar in October organised by the Royal Society, Melbourne University and the VNPA will look at the likely effects of climate change on water, fire frequency, weather events, dry forests, and numerous other subjects connected to the theme of biodiversity. An impressive range of scientists will speak at the seminar. The program document introduces the subject in this way:

‘Assuming ongoing high levels of global greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures in Victoria [in 2050] would be 1.2° to 2.5°C warmer than recent decades. Around the state, temperatures above 40°C in summer would occur two to four times more frequently, and

heat waves would be more frequent and longer. There would be fewer frosts in winter. For any location its projected climate would resemble that of sites today hundreds of kilometres further north, or at significantly lower elevation. For example, Melbourne’s climate would be roughly like the current one of Wagga Wagga. Average rainfall is likely to be lower, particularly in winter and spring. There are likely to be more intense downpours in  summer, making it more difficult to store and use water. Soil moisture for cropping and pasture would be much lower than now. Some drier summers are also possible. Along with the first decade of the century, later decades are likely to have rainfall below the long-term average. Major bushfires would be more common. In the mountains, snowpack would be reduced by 50%. The sea level could rise 25cm above 1995 levels, with low-lying bayside and coastal communities more frequently inundated. Increasing areas would be at risk from flooding during intense summer storms.’

The symposium will be held at the Bio Institute of the University of Melbourne in Flemington Road on October 8th and 9th. Registration for the two days costs $120, or $100 concession, and includes lunch and refreshments on the two days. For more info contact the VNPA at 9341 6500 [email:]



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