Promoting Excellence in Adaptation: Learning from Experience: A Synthesis of Historical Case Studies
Under Phase 1 of the NCCARF Synthesis and Integrative Research Program, NCCARF conducted a suite of Historical Case Studies of Extreme Events to better understand the requirements of successful adaptation to future climate change. Each of the case studies reflected on the particular community’s preparedness and vulnerability, immediate impacts and responses, and post-event responses and actions. This factsheet contains 8 broad lessons and a number of reflections derived from all 7 case studies. The 7 historical extreme events examined were: 1) Cyclone Tracy (Darwin, NT, 1974), 2) Drought in small inland agricultural communities (Donald & Mildura, VIC), 3) Drought in mining communities (Broken Hill, NSW & Kalgoorlie, WA), 4) Heatwaves (Melbourne, VIC & Adelaide, SA; early 2009), 5) Queensland floods (Charleville & Mackay, QLD, 2008), 6) Storm tides (east coast Australia, 1950s-1970s), 7) East Coast Lows/the Pasha Bulker storm (Newcastle, NSW, 2007). Decision makers at all levels, from the community to the Federal Government, related their experience to the selected historical events, and the successes and failures achieved. In this way, historical case studies provide a tool for planning adaptation measures for future climates.