Collaborative CMA climate change vulnerability assessment

Seven of Victoria’s CMAs, including Wimmera CMA, commissioned Spatial Vision to undertake a spatial climate change impact assessment that considers multiple asset classes and values using the latest available data.

This project used preliminary climate predictions known as CMIP5, which were released by CSIRO in March 2014. This data includes projected climate change relative to the 1986-2005 period. This data has since been updated, but it was determined that for the purpose of this modelling the changes would make a negligible difference to the results.

Carbon emission assumptions used in this project were:

  1. Representative Central Pathways 4.5 (RCP 4.5) – Moderate scenarios (in terms of future emissions).
  2. Representative Central Pathways 8.5 (RCP 8.5) – Extreme scenarios (in terms of future emissions).

In considering which model to apply the RCP 8.5 scenario was the preferred model as it provided a greater delineation in vulnerability over a shorter time period in the Wimmera, allowing for greater and earlier prioritisation.

As government and industry around the world are introducing new technologies, regulations and incentives that may result in a reduction of emissions meaning that RCP 4.5 is potentially achievable, Wimmera CMA has decided to use scenario RCP 8.5 as it provides a better prioritisation tool and could be seen as a precautionary approach.

The Spatial Vision project took into account vulnerability over four periods; 2030, 2050, 2070 and 2090.

While all vulnerability periods have been considered the emphasis is on the 2070 time line as it clearly shows discernible variation in vulnerability across our region (see Map).

In application the vulnerability assessment for native vegetation is combined with mitigation mapping for native vegetation management to create a CRP* climate change priority map for native vegetation management.

 

*CRP refers to the Wimmera CMA's Carbon Ready Plan (http://www.wcma.vic.gov.au/docs/default-source/corporatedocs/Carbon-Ready-Plan/wimmera-carbon-ready-plan.pdf)