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Description

Increases in extreme heat events in the Kimberley region will have severe impacts on the wellbeing of people in the region, particularly indigenous communities. It will also impact key industries, including tourism and agriculture, and damage natural ecosystems. CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology projections estimate up to a tenfold increase in days over 40 degrees within the lifetime of children living in Broome today (up to 62 days per year over 40 degrees by 2090) without policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Key Findings:

  • An increase in days of temperature over 35 degrees has severe impacts on human health, including increased rates of heat-related deaths.
  • Recent CSIRO research has found potential wheat yields in Australia have already declined by 27% from 1990 to 2015 below what they would otherwise have been due to climate impacts, mostly the fall in rainfall and increasing temperatures over this period.
  • At the local level, effective management of extreme heat in the Kimberley region will require participation and contribution from Indigenous communities in the development of extreme heat management frameworks.
  • The Kimberley region is expected to experience a dramatic increase in extreme heat events, affecting people’s ability to work and enjoy the outdoors, to play and watch sport. The Kimberley’s Indigenous population is disproportionately affected by the heat due to limited access to services, exposure to heat, pre-existing medical conditions and socio-economic inequality. Workers in industries with high exposure to heat are also disproportionately affected.
    Recent CSIRO research has found potential wheat yields in Australia have already declined by 27% from 1990 to 2015 below what they would otherwise have been due to climate impacts, mostly the fall in rainfall and increasing temperatures over this period.
  • At the global level, stopping any further expansion of Australia’s coal and gas exports, gradually phasing out existing exports and reducing emissions produced at home are all essential to prevent increases in extreme heat that will have such a devastating effect on the Kimberley region and Australia as a whole.

 

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