A driver of change in the global climate is global warming. Global warming is caused by an increase in the greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. The increased concentrations of these gases trap more heat, which causes a warming of the Earth’s surface.
Over recent decades, human activities - particularly burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) and land clearing - have dramatically increased the amount of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere.
Australia is vulnerable to the various impacts of climate change, some of which are already being felt around the globe.
A study commissioned by the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Environmental Management Strategy (HCCREMS) in 2010 researched information from the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology to determine climate change parameters for the region.
The following change parameters were identified:
- Increased sea level rise of up to 0.9m by 2100;
- Increase in the frequency of extreme rainfall events in summer and autumn;
- An increase of the fire season extending into autumn and potentially an increase in the frequency of high and extreme fire risk days;
- Average annual rainfall may increase, along with evapotranspiration;
- Average temperatures will continue to increase; and
- Increase in the number of extreme heat days.
Further details on council's latest sea level rise planning projections (which were adopted by council on 10 March 2015), see the Sea Level Rise page.
There are two ways we can address climate change:
- Mitigation: Reduce our greenhouse emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change through energy efficiency, alternate energy sources and carbon storage.
- Adaptation: Adapting to the changes to the climate which are predicted to occur over the next century, including water variability, increased intensity and variability of storms, droughts, bushfires and extreme heat events.
By planning for the future through responding and adapting to changes in our surrounding environment, we can position Gosford as an attractive area for long term investment.