Examples come from sectors such as water, natural ecosystems, agriculture, horticulture and coasts [11.2.5]. However, ongoing vulnerability to extreme events is demonstrated by substantial economic losses caused by droughts, floods, fire, tropical cyclones and hail [11.2.2]. The climate of the 21st century is virtually certain to be warmer, with changes in extreme events. Heatwaves and fires are virtually certain to increase in intensity and frequency (high confidence). Floods, landslides, droughts and storm surges are very likely to become more frequent and intense, and snow and frost are very likely to become less frequent (high confidence). Large areas of mainland Australia and eastern New Zealand are likely to have less soil moisture, although western New Zealand is likely to receive more rain (medium confidence) [11.3.1].
Potential impacts of climate change are likely to be substantial without further adaptation.
• As a result of reduced precipitation and increase evaporation, water security problems are projected to intensify by 2030 in southern and eastern Australia and, in New Zealand, in Northland and some eastern regions (high confidence) [11.4.1].
• Ongoing coastal development and population growth, in areas such as Cairns and south-east Queensland (Australia) and Northland to Bay of Plenty (New Zealand), are projected to exacerbate risks from sea-level rise and increases in the severity and frequency of storms and coastal flooding by 2050 (high confidence) [11.4.5, 11.4.7].
• Significant loss of biodiversity is projected to occur by 2020 in some ecologically rich sites, including the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Wet Tropics. Other sites at risk include Kakadu wetlands, south-west Australia, subAntarctic islands and alpine areas of both countries (very high confidence) [11.4.2].
• Risks to major infrastructure are likely to increase. By 2030, design criteria for extreme events are very likely to be exceeded more frequently. Risks include failure of floodplain protection and urban drainage/sewerage, increased storm and fire damage, and more heatwaves, causing more deaths and more blackouts (high confidence) [11.4.1, 11.4.5, 11.4.7, 11.4.10, 11.4.11].
• Production from agriculture and forestry is projected to decline by 2030 over much of southern and eastern Australia, and over parts of eastern New Zealand, due to increased drought and fire. However, in New Zealand, initial benefits to agriculture and forestry are projected in western and southern areas and close to major rivers due to a longer growing season, less frost and increased…