Vulnerability to Climate Change: Hunter & Central Coasts

This study assesses the vulnerability of the NSW Central Coast and Lower Hunter region (NSW) to the impacts of climate change. The primary objective was an interdisciplinary appraisal of the vulnerability of infrastructure and natural ecosystems to the impact of sea level rise, storm surge and intense rainfall. It uses climate change projections produced by the IPCC and CSIRO for the years 2030 and 2070. Under this scenario the projected value of sea level rise in 2030 is 146mm and in 2070 it is 471mm, relative to 1990 levels. The report shows that the region face an increase in its exposure to "in 2030 the area of human built environment vulnerable to combined sea level rise and flood extremes is likely to be about 6,316ha for the Newcastle Local Government Area (LGA), 2022ha for the Lake Macquarie LGA and 3,399ha for the Wyong LGA." The study explored: "• Ecological vulnerability: by predicting landscape change and its resulting biophysical consequences (chapters 2 and 3); • Economic vulnerability: by developing a dynamic analysis that takes into account the costs of disruptions to infrastructure function in addition to the damage of that infrastructure (e.g., disruption to hospital access in addition to just the damage to the hospital building) (chapter 4); and • Social vulnerability: by measuring characteristics of the local community that indicate community sensitivity to change and adaptive capacity (chapter 5)."
Demographic Orientation