New research shows the state of the Wheatbelt environment remains under stress despite improvements from a horror 2019.
Researchers from the Australian National University last month released their environmental scorecard for 2020, showing the Wheatbelt NRM region’s score rose by 1.2 points to 2.7 out of 10.
Although not as dire at 2019, this remains significantly worse than average over the past 20 years, a period already regarded as the hottest two decades on record.
The results demonstrate the impact climate change has had on the Wheatbelt environment and the need to plan for continued years of below average conditions.
Across the country the average score was 3.1 out of 10, up from a dismal 0.8 in a fire-ravaged 2019.
In the Avon River Basin average rainfall rose, but leaf coverage was at its 3rd lowest level in 20 years and levels of unprotected soil climbed to their highest state since 2000.
There were significantly fewer days over 35 degrees in 2020 than in 2019, but the maximum temperature was above average and fire carbon emissions were among their highest since 2000.
WA was the worst performing state in the nation, with a score of just 1.4 out of 10.
To learn more about environmental areas of potential concern and analysis of climate change in the Wheatbelt check out the NRM Strategy website.