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Globally, climate change is recognised as one of the most serious environmental issues faced today. It is predicted to bring rising sea levels, shifting rainfall patterns and altered frequency and size of extreme climate events.

It is thought to be accelerated by the burning of fossil fuels by humans and increases in greenhouse gas levels, which results in escalating atmospheric temperatures. This affects cloud cover, rainfall, wind patterns, ocean currents and the distribution of plant and animal species.

Managing impacts

Parks and Wildlife recognises that the potential impacts of climate change will alter the ecological function of the Swan and Canning rivers and the way people interact with them. Rising water levels, changes in biodiversity and reduced stream flow are among the impacts of climate change predicted for the Swan Canning Riverpark.

Perth’s riverside location means management practices in the Swan Canning Catchment will need to accommodate understanding of climate change impacts throughout the region.

In 2007 a Technical Advisory Panel published a comprehensive paper on the potential impacts of climate change on the Swan and Canning rivers. This provides an overview of climate change impacts and potential adaptation strategies for the Swan Canning Catchment. A summary paper is also available.

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