Increased extreme weather events


The built environment is vulnerable to weather events such as storms—particularly cyclones and hailstorms—and weather-related events such as bushfires. Although it is difficult to identify precise relationships between climate change and particular weather events, research by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the Bureau of Meteorology in 200736 suggests that climate change will lead to increases in:

  • the proportion of tropical cyclones in the more intense category, potentially affecting the built environment in coastal northern Australia
  • hail risk over the south-east coast of Australia—the 1999 Sydney hailstorm is generally considered to be the most costly natural disaster in Australia's history, in terms of private property damage
  • fire weather risk—likely at most sites in south-eastern Australia.
Harper P (2011). Built environment: Increased extreme weather events. In: Australia state of the environment 2011, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra,, DOI 10.4226/94/58b65a5037ed8