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  • Writer's pictureTanya

The Green Celebrant studies climate change

For those who know me or have figured it out from some of the posts I’ve already shared – I’m very keen on the environment. In fact I hashtag myself #greencelebrant.  What started as a passion and interest has since become more formalised.  I completed an Undergraduate Certificate at TAFE NSW in Sustainable Practice in 2022 and then in 2023 I commenced a Diploma of Sustainable Living at the University of Tasmania.  

 

Last semester I studied a subject called The Science of Climate Change and I found it very challenging. Partly because there was a lot of science jargon to read and also because it feed my climate anxiety. This assessment though gave me a flashback to a cute memory of a past couple. During one of our appointments they told me the weather forecast for their special day… the following year. I can’t recall if I politely nodded or if I giggled out loud.  I struggle getting a forecast for the week correct, I have put the washing out on a sunny forecast and brought it in wet at the end of the day.

 

This assessment asked me to look at the climate in our local area. So, I thought I’d share it here for those that are interested. The takeaway message, let’s all do our bit to help reduce the impact of climate change. Then couples in the future have less chance of having an above average stinking hot day -its never fun wearing all those layers while dripping with sweat underneath and your nearest and dearest are fainting in the sun. Further, as much as we say rain on your wedding day is good luck, weeks and weeks of rain and inches of mud is a much more difficult situation.

 

So if you’re interested in the weather conditions on your wedding day you can take a more educated look and follow the links at the bottom.

Happy studies,

L Tanya x ox

 

 

Assessment task   Changes in climate in your local area.

 

Ulladulla Bureau Station

Number: 69138

Opened: 1989

Now: Open

Lat: 35.36° S

Lon: 150.48° E

Elevation: 36 m

 

 

I reside in the Shoalhaven region on the South Coast of NSW.  The 18km distance to the Jervis Bay Point Perpendicular lighthouse on the ocean is less likely to simulate my home set amongst the bush compared to the Nowra air base station (14km away). However, both stations only had records available on the Bureau from 2001 and 2000 respectively. I therefore selected weather station number 69138, Ulladulla, which had records dating back to 1994 to explore a more comprehensive set of data, despite it being 37km away from home. Data accessed from the Bureau of Meteorology.

 

Observations.

The mean January temperatures over the past 30 years of summers have fluctuated between the first recording of 22.8 degrees in 1995 to most recent summer of 24.4 degrees in January 2024. Mapped below in Graph 1 the trend line can be seen to progressively increase approximately 1 degree over the thirty years. During those January months the highest recorded mean temperature was 27.1 of 2017 and the lowest at 22.1 the January of 1997.

 


 

 

 

 When examining the rainfall data there appeared to be a consistent rainfall that over the initial  22 year period of measurements from 1995 with an average annual rainfall of 1108 millimetres. However, as Graph 2 demonstrates, the last 6 years has shown significant change, being the reduced rain over the 3 years, 2017-2019 with an average of just 869millimeters  and then the onslaught of rain from 2020 over the past 3 years with an average annual rainfall of 1882millimeters.

 


Climate Change

Looking at the Southern Annular Mode Index figures (Pippard, J., 2023) Positive Sams were recorded over the summers of 2021-2023 aligning with the higher rainfalls recorded for those years, (131, 163 and 129 respectively compared with the mean rainfall for the month of January over the thirty years being 91 millimetres).  


 

Projected measures.

According to the Climate Change Australia the projected measures for the East Coast of NSW are likely to increase. The projected temperatures are mapped against the 4 levels of Representative Concentrated Pathways and graph 4 outlines the estimates demonstrating that with interventions and changes to reduce carbon emissions the temperature is forecast to increase 1 degree by 2050 and maintains stability until 2090. However,  if minimal interventions and changes are made in the use of fossil fuels and raising carbon emissions the temperature is forecast to increase 4 degrees.



 


Climate in the local environment on the NSW South Coast.

Reduced rainfall in the lead up to hot summers can create volatile outcomes, such as the 2019/2020 bush fires in NSW.  After the unprecedented low rainfalls in the area and the hot summer days the infamous fires raged across 5.5million hectres of NSW, 2.7million of those hectres were of National Parks. The destruction to fauna and flora was devastating.

 

Concerningly while the onset of rain was a relief to exhaust the fire, the sudden higher than average rainfall in the months to follow compounded the impact of the fires on the local climate by washing the ash debris into the waterways and affecting the water quality.


References

Pippard, J., 2023. Southern Annular Mode hits near – record level. Weatherzone Business

 

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