03:38pm Friday 21 February 2020

Can the Hunter handle the heat?

In a bid to address these issues, the University of Newcastle will host a National conference on climate change adaptation to discuss ways to reduce hazards from the far reaching effects of climate change, both along the Hunter’s coast and inland.

The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility conference held today in Newcastle will showcase priority adaptation issues affecting the Hunter and provide a forum for decision makers to interact with local researchers.

The aim of the NCCARF Conference is to update advances and to discuss lessons learnt from extreme weather events like the Pasha Bulka storm through a series of workshops.

Although destructive, without an extreme weather event like the Pasha Bulka storm, the Hunter would be in danger of running out of water, University of Newcastle Professor, Garry Willgoose said.

He will present his insights into east coast lows at today’s conference while Environmental and Climate Change Research Group colleague, Dr Anthony Kiem’s presentation will cover the limits of climate change adaptation.

Dr Kiem, a hydroclimatologist, said much of the research on climate change adaptation has avoided the question of what adaptation could not achieve.

“This research examines how climate change impacts rural and regional communities and how communities are adapting,” Dr Kiem said.

“Limits to adaptation is concerned with identifying the thresholds at which actions to adapt cease to reduce vulnerability. This project investigates limits to adaptation with respect to supply of water to rural communities and the implications of using market-based instruments like water trading for climate change adaptation.”

Some other topics to be explored include:

• Drought and the future of small inland towns

• Sea-level rise and flooding in the coastal zone

• The disconnect between climate change science and implementing successful climate change adaptation strategies

• An economic perspective of the risk and adaptation assessment of climate change enhanced hazards

• Moving from impacts to adaptation in the coastal zone

NCCARF partners with the University of Newcastle to carry our research projects that address climate change in the Hunter and Central Coast.

Media contact: Tess Campbell, Media and Public Relations officer, 4921 8714.

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