Climate change set to bring ‘more intense’ storms to Australia

‘Our infrastructure is built for last century, not for a changing climate,’ says study

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 November, 2016, 11:30am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 November, 2016, 11:30am

Climate change is fuelling increasingly intense and damaging storms in Australia, according to a new report from the independent, non-profit organisation Climate Council.

The report, Super-Charged Storms in Australia states that the annual frequency of potential severe thunderstorm days looks “likely” to rise by 30 per cent for Sydney, 14 per cent for Brisbane and 22 per cent for Melbourne.

“Climate change is already exacerbating storms and storm damage,” the Climate Council’s Will Steffen said in a statement accompanying the report.

“Our infrastructure is built for last century, not for a changing climate, and a number of our major cities and towns are vulnerable,” Steffen, a climate scientist, added.

Other key points from the report include the finding that a sea-level rise of just 0.5 meters by 2100 would result in a 1-in-100 year flood occurring “every few months by the end of the century.”

The report also found that climate change was exacerbating coastal flooding from storm surges, while extreme rainfall events and tropical cyclones were all seen as becoming more intense.

“We need to ensure communities are prepared for increasing risks, as well as tackling climate change by transitioning away from coal, oil and gas, the drivers of climate change,” Steffen said.