[ASC-media] CSIRO: Mapping Sydney's vulnerability to climate change

Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au
Tue Apr 29 03:41:41 CEST 2008

29 April 2008
Ref 08/62

Mapping Sydney's vulnerability to climate change 

A vulnerability assessment released today by CSIRO and the Sydney
Coastal Councils Group (SCCG) will help Sydney coastal councils
understand their vulnerability to climate change and prepare to adapt to
potential impacts.
"The consequences of climate change in Sydney's coastal region will be
driven as much by socio-economic factors and decision making as by
climate hazards such as heat waves and storm surges," says research
leader Dr Benjamin Preston, from the CSIRO Climate Adaptation National
Research Flagship.

"Different areas of Sydney will experience climate change in different
ways depending on their geographic location, demographics, and the
resources and tools at their disposal to manage future climate change
risk," Dr Preston says. 

The three-phase project began by using climate change projections and
socio-economic data to generate maps of vulnerability to five climate
change impacts: extreme heat and health effects; sea-level rise and
coastal management; extreme rainfall and storm-water management;
bushfires; and ecosystems and natural resources. 

These maps were used in 'stakeholder' workshops with all 15 SCCG member
councils that were designed to improve researchers' and the councils'
understanding of the causes and potential impacts of those changes.

"By combining our vulnerability assessment with councils' own knowledge
and risk management experience, we can advance the thinking on the
implications of climate change and what will be needed for communities
to respond," Dr Preston says. 

The project's final phase - a series of case studies based on the
vulnerability assessment and council stakeholder workshops - aims to
identify the factors that influence councils' capacity to respond to
climate change. 

This analysis will study institutional issues affecting adaptation -
decision making processes, planning schemes, community aspirations and
infrastructure demands - to help councils adapt to climate change
through future management decisions.

"This vulnerability assessment is an essential first stage in a journey
to better understand the potential impacts of climate change on the
region, and move towards more effective and adaptive management," says
SCCG executive officer Geoff Withycombe.

The research was funded under the Australian Government Department of
Climate Change's Adaptation program, in collaboration with the
University of the Sunshine Coast.

Image available at:
Further Information:

Benjamin Preston, CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship 
0416760598, benjamin.preston at csiro.au

Geoff Withycombe, Sydney Coastal Councils Group
0425325148, geoff at sydneycoastalcouncils.com.au

Full report available at:

Media Assistance:

Matthew Levinson, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
0406314450, matthew.levinson at csiro.au


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Beck Eveleigh
Media Assistant
CSIRO Media Liaison
6276 6451
0409 395 010

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