The climate in NSW is already changing and is likely to continue to do so in the future. This will have impacts for the New England/Northwest region of NSW.
This climate change impact statement for New England and Northwest NSW accompanies The Critical Decade report and highlights key climate change impacts and opportunities for the region:
1. A hotter climate will affect agriculture and natural ecosystems. Droughts will become more severe and the drying soil will lead to further warming. These impacts pose risks to the areas agricultural productivity including the risk of wind erosion on the western plains. Furthermore, these changes will place significant pressure on the regions natural ecosystems and place additional stress on biodiversity.
2. Changing rainfall patterns and the risk of more intense rainfall events pose challenges for land management in the New England/Northwest NSW region. A pattern of severe drought and more intense rainfall events would increase the risk of severe flooding when rain does occur, making urban centres particularly vulnerable. Poorer growing conditions would also reduce vegetation cover and increase the risk of soil erosion, especially in the western plains.
3. Storing carbon in land systems offers a rapid but short term way to reduce emissions with significant co-benefits.