good weather for ducks?

Wild weather caused by climate change will hit Sydney’s poor, elderly and least-educated hardest, according to a new study mapping the city’s most vulnerable coastal regions.

Dr Benjamin Preston, a scientist with the CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship, said the study was the first of its kind in Sydney. It would help emphasise the influence socio-economic factors have in determining the severity of climate change impacts.

The consequences of climate change will be influenced just as much by demographic factors, economic factors and future decisions regarding risk management as by changes in the climate system itself, Dr Preston said.

Elderly people, particularly those in units, were at an increased risk of death during heat waves, the study found. About 176 elderly people die from heat-related causes in Sydney each year. A report cited in the study predicted this could grow to more than 1000 deaths by the end of the century.

Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Apr 2008

see also – just plain scary