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Rainfall in SW Tas likely to increase 10pc, taking in important Hydro catchment areas; but others areas get 10-20pc less, says new CSIRO model

Posted by gmarkets on 5 October, 2007

According to Peter Boyer, CSIRO Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research scientists have developed a variable-resolution climate model capable of providing fine resolution over a rela­tively small area like Tasmania, reported The Mercury (2/10/2007, p.17).

The scenario: Tasmanian data on temperature, rainfall and wind going back many decades were used to calibrate the model. Then, estimates of future green­house gas emissions were fed into the model to develop likely scenarios from the present time to 2040 to help Hydro Tasmania plan its future with more certainty. “On average, we can expect higher temperatures – up to half a degree higher by 2040 – especially at night. We should anticipate between 10 and 20 per cent less rainfall in all our major centres. On the other hand, rainfall in the South-West is likely to increase by about 10 per cent, taking several important Hydro catchmen areas.

Food for thought: “Wind speeds are likely to increase by up to 5 per cent everywhere, which is good for wind power but not so good for evaporation and soil moisture. One of the underlying messages of McIntosh’s modelling is that with higher temperatures and wind speeds, we can expect decreasing water avail­ability from catchments in Tasmania’s eastern half. That’s serious food for thought,” Boyer added.

The Mercury, 2/10/2007, p. 17

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