What is this issue
Building resilience to a changing climate.
Impacts of this issue
Climate has a major influence on the nature and distribution of the region’s native flora and fauna, its water regimes, farming systems and even settlement patterns.
Climate model projections 1, 2 indicate a warmer and, most likely, drier climate across the SA Murray-Darling Basin in future. Climate change will have major implications for the way that natural resources are managed, and the effects are already being felt by a number of industries and ecological systems.
The most significant impacts of climate change in the Southern Fleurieu subregion include:
- Declining rainfall, higher temperatures and increase in frequency of heatwaves, affecting agricultural production, habitat condition, soil health and erosion risk
- Decreasing water availability impacting on health of aquatic ecosystems
- Shifts in weed species' distributions
- Increased fire intensity and frequency may favour 'coloniser' species
Natural resource managers play an important role in helping mitigate climate change, by reducing carbon emissions, and sequestering carbon in restoration plantings, crops and soil. Adaptation to future climates will, however, be necessary.
Adaptation actions that will help reduce the impacts of climate change in the Southern Fleurieu Bend subregion are given below.
Adaptation actions for the Southern Fleurieu subregion
- Improve the identification, prioritisation and management of pest plants and animals
- Improve water use efficiency, and manage water resources for the benefit of all users
- Buffer and link native vegetation, and monitor changes to species composition
Climate change is expected to exacerbate many existing NRM issues, such as habitat fragmentation, pressures on water resources, and bushfires. ‘Climate-ready’ actions - that build climate resilience and that will likely remain relevant under future climates – are incorporated within issues pages.
1Climate change in Australia: Projections for Australia’s NRM Regions
2 Building resilience to a changing climate—climate change adaptation plan for the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin