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Main Content

Climate change

Climate change refers to global warming that alters both global and local weather patterns which result in physical geography transformations. Climate change can be due to natural variation or human induced activity.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international scientific body for the assessment of climate change that was established in 1988 under the United Nations. It's role is to provide a unified scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. Thousands of scientists worldwide contribute voluntarily to the work undertaken by the IPCC which requires multiple stages of review that produces a conservative Assessment Report on the current status of climate change science.

There have been five stages of Assessment Reports undertaken by the IPCC with the first completed in 1990 forming the basis of the Unitied Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

A Climate Change Risk Assessment has been prepared in order to meet the Waste and Sustainability Improvement Program (WaSIP) standards of 2011/12 for climate change.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment outlines the key impacts to Pittwater relating to natural hazards as an increased risk of:

  • Heat / Fire (greater number of days over 35°C)
  • Flood (greater intensity of rainfall events in spring & summer)
  • Storm and Storm Surge / Coastal Erosion (45m-90m recession by 2100)
  • Drought (decreased potable water availability).

The Pittwater Council Climate Change Risk Assessment projects a sea level rise of 0.9m by 2100 (from 1990 mean seal level) with impacts on soils, groundwater and wetlands.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment process will help Council to identify opportunities to mitigate against greenhouse gas emissions and develop adaptation strategies to reduce the impacts of the climate change projections on Pittwater Council assets, operations and services.


Little Head Sea Level Rise Information
Information on sea level rise policies and guidelines including links to relevant NSW Government webpages.

Sustainability Environmental Sustainability
An international program supporting Local Government to take action on climate change.

AdaptNSW Climate Change Impacts
Climate Change impacts on Pittwater can be found on the AdaptNSW website.

Updated: 18 Jul 2016