5. Impact of Climate Change on the Catchment`s Natural Resources

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Published on Weconnect - Your connection to our strategies (http://weconnect.gbcma.vic.gov.au)
EXPORT OF DRAFT 5. Impact of Climate Change on the Catchment’s Natural Resources ON 3
May 2017 - 12:29
Home > Climate change strategies and plans > 5. Impact of Climate Change on the Catchment’s
Natural Resources
5. Impact of Climate Change on the
Catchment’s Natural Resources
The combination of exposure and sensitivity to climate change reflects the potential impact of
climate change on the Goulburn Broken Catchment’s natural resources (as per figure 4). See
figure 5, 6 and 7 below for results of the impact assessment. The criteria used for the impact
assessment are outlined below in table 4 (exposure) and table 5 (sensitivity).
Figure 4: Climate change impact assessment framework (adapted from Schröter undated by
Clifton and Pelikan 2014).
Table 4: Exposure assessment criteria with rationale (Clifton and Pelikan 2014)
WEIGHTING
1
EXPOSURE CRITERION
Maximum temperature: change in annual
average
CRITERION
RATIONALE
Temperature influences
landscape processes
that are important to all
natural resource classes
and social-ecological
systems. Maximum
temperatures influence
processes including
water balance, fire and
senescence in some
wintergrowing agricultural
species. The annual
average rather than the
seasonal average was
selected due to it being
able to broadly
represent the suite of
climate changerelated
temperature impacts
across a year.
2
Average rainfall: Change in average spring
rainfall
3
Average rainfall: Change in average autumn
rainfall
3
Surface water yields: change in mean annual
flow
Rainfall is a critical
influence on landscape
processes across natural
resource classes and
social-ecological
systems and is a key
expression of exposure
to climate change.
River flows and
farming systems,
particularly, were
considered to be much
more sensitive to
changes in autumn
and/or spring rainfall
than changes in annual
average rainfall.
Climate change is also
projected to lead to
changes in seasonal
distribution of rainfall,
with more change
during winter and
spring than at other
times of year.
Mean annual flow
integrates impacts of
changes in rainfall
regime (amount,
seasonality and
variability), as well as
temperature and
potential evaporation. It
is a key expression of
exposure to climate
change for water
resources
(including irrigation
farming and towns).
Change in mean annual
flow is more relevant to
agricultural water uses
in irrigation regions
than for other irrigation
users and the
environment. However,
it is the only readily
available data set that
incorporates climate
change projections.
4
Waterlogging and salinity: current shallow
aquifer depth to water table
Shallow aquifer depth
to water table is a key
pressure for natural
resources in the
Shepparton Irrigation
Region and to a lesser
extent in other
irrigation areas and
parts of the dryland.
Shallow water tables
are also important in
sustaining groundwaterdependent ecosystems,
which may be
important drought
refuges for native
fauna.
Note: Only current
conditions can be used
as there is no other
consistent data set
available for the whole
of the Goulburn Broken
Catchment.
5
Flooding: area currently inundated in 1 per cent
annual exceedance probability event
Flooding is a critical
influence on ecological
processes in rivers,
wetlands and
floodplains and also
poses an important
climate-related hazard
for built infrastructure
and some land uses.
The current 1 per cent
annual exceedance
probability event is a
good guide to flood
extent under climate
change, although it is
likely that floods in the
current 1 per cent
annual exceedance
probability area may
increase in frequency.
Recent flood studies
have not necessarily
considered climate
change and hence only
current flood extent can
be considered
consistently across the
region.
5
Minimum temperature: change in annual
average
Temperature influences
landscape processes
that are important to all
natural resource classes
and SESs. Minimum
temperatures influence,
for example, snow
incidence and
persistence and
flowering patterns in
agricultural and native
species. The annual
average rather than the
seasonal average was
selected due to it being
able to broadly
represent the suite of
climate change-related
temperature impacts
across a year.
Table 5: Sensitivity assessment criteria with rationale (Clifton and Pelikan 2014)
WEIGHTING
EXPOSURE CRITERION
1
Habitat condition: native vegetation fragmentation
or connectivity
1
Habitat condition: native vegetation condition
CRITERION
RATIONALE
The condition of
native vegetation,
particularly in terms
of the level of
fragmentation and
disturbance, and its
connectivity to large,
contiguous areas is
considered to
strongly influence its
vulnerability to a
variety of
pressures, including
those arising from, or
exacerbated by,
climate change.
These are critical
sensitivity issues for
terrestrial
biodiversity and
riparian and wetland
vegetation.
2
River health: index of stream condition streamside
zone
This is a measure of
the condition of
riparian vegetation
and hence a key
indicator of river
health and the
sensitivity of rivers to
various pressures,
including climate
change. As this
criterion incorporates
vegetation condition
and connectivity, it
partly duplicates the
habitat condition
criteria.
3
Rarity: native vegetation range under current
conditions
Ecological vegetation
class bioregional
conservation status
was the data set used
to represent this
criterion, highlighting
ecological vegetation
classes that have a
restricted
distribution. These
are considered to be
vulnerable to climate
change because:


they have a
naturally
small range
and may
therefore be
adapted to
quite specific
climatic
conditions
that may no
longer exist at
their current
locations as a
result of
climate
change.
clearing and
other
disturbances
have modified
their natural
range and
hence they are
likely to be
subject to a
variety of
other
environmental
pressures and
hence most
likely less
resilient to
climate
change.
3
3
4
Land use: current land use
Land use was
classified according
to sensitivity to
various impacts of
climate change. Data
illustrates the
variable nature of
sensitivity to climate
change.
Land and soil health hazards
Several topography
and landform criteria
have been included in
this criterion, such as
slope and
susceptibility to
various soil health
hazards (e.g. acidity,
salinity, erosion).
This highlights
sensitivity to climate
change from a land
and soil health
perspective.
Wetland health: proximity to wetlands
The intention was to
incorporate a
measure of the
hydrologic regime
experienced by
wetlands and hence
their health from
index of wetland
condition datasets.
However, there is
insufficient data to
represent the criterion
across the
Catchment.
Proximity to
wetlands is used as a
surrogate, on the
basis that wetlands
are sensitive
locations due to their
dependence on
strongly
climateinfluenced
factors such as river
flows and/or water
tables.
click to enlarge
Figure 5: Impact of climate
change on the Goulburn
Broken Catchment’s natural
resources in scenario 2030.
click to enlarge
Figure 6: Impact of climate
change on the Goulburn
Broken Catchment’s natural
resources in scenario 2050.
click to enlarge
Figure 7: Impact of climate
change on the Goulburn
Broken Catchment’s natural
resources in scenario 2070.
Maps showing the exposure and sensitivity assessment results independently can be found in
Appendix B and C respectively.
Please note: These maps are not intended to incorporate all decision-making elements but represent an assessment
of climate change impact based on spatially-enabled criteria for exposure and sensitivity as part of a climate change
vulnerability assessment. Vulnerability is used to highlight locations and issues to focus further analysis, including
risk assessment and management. These maps should be considered in conjunction with the Climate Change
Adaptation Plan for Natural Resource Management in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, Victoria, 2016 in its
entirety.
Source URL:
http://weconnect.gbcma.vic.gov.au/Wiki_Page/5_Impact_Climate_Change_Catchments_Natural
_Resources
EXPORT OF DRAFT 5. Impact of Climate Change on the Catchment’s Natural Resources ON 3
May 2017 - 12:29
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