Western Australia, particularly the south-west, is vulnerable to climate change. Changing rainfall patterns, rising sea levels and increasing intense weather events pose a threat to the states water supply, agriculture, coastal infrastructure and natural habitats.
This report accompanies The Critical Decade: Climate Change Science, Risks and Responses and highlights key climate change impacts and opportunities for Western Australia:
1. 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 south-west of the state. This has had serious implications for urban water supplies and agriculture.
2. Sea levels along Australia's west coast have been rising at more than double the global average. With a significant part of the population living in coastal towns and cities, rising sea levels pose significant risks to Western Australia's coastal infrastructure and iconic beaches.
3. Western Australia is home to internationally recognised biodiversity which is threatened by a changing climate. Suitable habitat for a range of iconic species including the quokka, Carnaby's cockatoo and the tingle tree are likely to be substantially reduced due to climate change.