Understanding future risks to ports in Australia. Work Package 1 of Enhancing the resilience of seaports to a changing climate report series

Authors: Darryn McEvoy, Jane Mullett, Sophie Millin, Helen Scott and Alexei Trundle

Climate change is only one of the many drivers affecting the functioning of ports, and will also be impacted by non-climate drivers including demography, economy, technology, institutions, and supply chains. It is clear from the literature review conducted as part of this study that climate change considerations are increasingly being taken on board by Australian port operations, in their policy and sectoral documentation. The new ports and freight strategies endorsed in 2012 provide significant opportunities for mainstreaming climate change considerations. This report highlights some of the many challenges involved when assessing the risks that Australian ports need to contend with, and also provides detail of an integrated assessment methodology that can be replicated for other cases. The assessment involved close liaison with information providers and a number of case study ports. A suite of models representing a range of possible futures were run for the time periods 2030, 2050 and 2070 across the case study ports. A comprehensive ‘climate information pack’ is then generated for each of the case study ports, with information on observed climate; explanations of global climate models, emissions scenarios and time periods used; and descriptions of atmospheric and ocean projections as well as information on extreme weather events. The information gathered here for Work Package 1 was used to inform assessments of functional and infrastructural resilience in Work Packages 2 and 3 from the same series.

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