Climate Change Impact for South Australia

The climate in South Australia is already changing and will continue to do so in the future.

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This report accompanies The Critical Decade: Climate Change Science, Risks and Responses and highlights key climate change impacts and opportunities for South Australia.

THREE KEY POINTS:

1. Rising temperatures will affect health. Adelaide currently experiences an average of 17 extremely hot days (above 35 degrees) a year. By 2030 this number could rise to about 23 and will continue to increase in the future. More record hot days and associated heatwaves increase the risk heat related illness and death particularly in the elderly.

2. Changing rainfall patterns combined with higher temperatures pose significant risks to South Australia's agricultural areas and urban water supplies. Droughts will become more severe and drying soil will lead to further warming. This will have significant impacts on South Australia's agricultural belt.

3. Rising sea-level will exacerbate existing vulnerability in South Australia's coastal towns and infrastructure. Sea-levels in South Australia have been rising at a rate higher than the global average with a rise of approximately 4.6 mm a year since 1990 and this trend is set to continue. As a result between 25,200 and 43,000 residential buildings in South Australian could be at risk of flooding towards the end of the century.

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