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Higher temperatures, more floods and less snow

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The Rural City of Wangaratta has been invited to join other councils in the region as part of the North East Greenhouse Alliance (NEGHA) with the objective of reducing greenhouse gases locally.

The impact of the enhanced greenhouse effect and warming in the north east has been modelled and the following trends are expected:
• an increase in average temperature leading to increased evaporation and an overall decrease in the quantity of available water;
• more intense storm events producing more frequent storm consequences such as flooding;
• more frequent and intense flood events;
• a reduction in the number of frost events per year; and
• a reduction in snow cover.

These climate changes will impact on such things as the type of crops that are suitable for the region, increased risk of extinction of native animals and plants, liveability of the area, emergency management, alpine tourism and a range of other issues

The NEGHA has been established to provide a framework for local councils to work together on greenhouse abatement projects such as carbon sinks, community energy efficiency, street lighting efficiency, agricultural adaptation, renewable energies and bio-fuels. As such the NEGHA intends to expand its network to engage other key stakeholders in the region to deliver collaborative projects.

This may be a controversial mix of abatement projects – carbon sinks and agricultural adaptation in particular. Carbon sinks have been seen as a trade off under the Kyoto Protocol to offset governments and industry not cutting emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels whilst our cattle farmers will have a devil of a time reducing their cattle’s methane emissions. Click on the CSIRO methane map above to see the extent of the problem … CSIRO article here

Climate change associated with the enhanced greenhouse effect is well known to the community but its impacts will become a more pressing issue with time. There is the potential for impacts on agricultural, tourism and other industries as well as on the lifestyle of the general community – and they all appear to be negative.

The Victorian Greenhouse Strategy supports greenhouse abatement activities led by local communities. The NEGHA has been recently established and currently comprises Wodonga City Council, Alpine Shire, Indigo Shire, Moira Shire, Towong Shire and the North East Catchment Management Authority.

Funded by the Department of Sustainability and Environment through the Regional Partnerships Program, NEGHA is hosted by Wodonga City Council and employs a regional coordinator.

The Rural City of Wangaratta is expected to accept the invitation at the April council meeting.


Written by Greg Naylor

17 April 2006 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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