Climate change forecasts for Central Queensland

Climate scientists are united in their assessment that the world is heating at an accelerated rate and that urgent action is required if we are to limit the global warming and maintain our ecosystems and our way of life.  

Central Queensland often experiences climate extremes such as cyclones, storms, floods, droughts, heatwaves and bushfires.  Climate change is likely to exacerbate the frequency and severity of these natural events.

Based on global climate modelling, Central Queensland can expect:

  • higher than average temperatures in all seasons of the year,
  • an increased number and duration of heatwaves and the number of days above 35oC will more than double,
  • an increase in the intensity of extreme rainfall events and possibly less winter rainfall,
  • sea levels rises and the height of extreme sea-level events to get even higher,
  • more frequent and more dangerous fire-weather conditions,
  • warmer and more acidic ocean conditions.

What will this mean for our lifestyle?

This changing climate will impact Central Queensland in many ways including impacts on:

  • Human settlements, industrial areas and public infrastructure from intense storms and cyclones with the resultant flooding events, bushfires and storm surges. Aside from the direct impacts on our lifestyle and loss of income, there is a strong possibility that the cost of insurance will rise.  Our tax dollars will need to assist with the recovery from these events.
  • Agriculture and horticulture, where higher temperatures and increased drought frequency may increase heat and water stress for livestock and crops. Storm damage and floods will lead to erosion, nutrient run off and loss of soil cover which may impact on productivity and impacts on downstream wetlands and the marine environment.
  • Business and industry where extreme weather events cause disruption to supply chains or transport routes are disrupted. For outdoor workers, the increase in hot days and heatwaves may reduce the operating hours of the businesses to meet workplace health and safety risks.
  • Our health and health systems. Heatwaves have caused more deaths than all other severe weather events and with hotter and more intense heatwaves in our future, our health and health systems will become an increasing threat.  More frequent and intense bushfires, storms and floods also have a high impact on our health, particularly for asthmatics.  
  • Terrestrial wildlife, like us, suffer from heat stress, bushfires, floods and storms. When combined with changes and fragmentation of their habitat, it becomes more challenging for any species to change its geographic distribution.  Sea level rises are already impacting on freshwater wetlands through saltwater intrusion, and we are already seeing a change in the sex ratio of marine turtles where more females are being born due to the warmer temperature.
  • Great Barrier Reef, as oceans are rapidly heating up and the outlook for the Reef is grim. The Great Barrier Reef has been hit by three marine heatwaves within five years that resulted in mass coral bleaching and mortality – and that is at 1.2oC of global warming.  If the frequency of bleaching events increases, the reef will have limited ability to recover and will eventually be lost.  Climate scientists advise that we will exceed 2oC by the end of this century unless urgent action is taken, and this will be fatal for 99% of all coral reefs. 

Here is CCC's position statement on Climate Change:

PS link