CLIMATE CHANGE IN AUSTRALIA

Climate Change in Australia shows how Australia’s climate has changed and how it may change in the future. Changes to our climate have the potential to create major impacts on human and natural systems. Further changes to our climate are likely if emissions of greenhouse gases continue to increase.

A range of material is available for download, including a technical report, summaries, brochure and poster. The technical report, developed by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, presents estimates of projections for climate variables such as temperature, rainfall, evaporation and wind.

Maps indicating projected changes to climate can be generated for selected regions, years, seasons, emission scenarios and climate variables.

Australian climate change projections are based on international climate change research and build on a large body of work undertaken for the Australian region. The projections have been generated using data from 23 climate models and global warming estimates from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. The projections will be updated in 2014.

Projections are particularly valuable for general impact and risk assessment studies.Chapter 6 of the Technical Report provides important guidance on using climate projections in impact assessments.

Further information about how to use single model projections for impact assessments is available at OzClim.

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The projections were undertaken as part of the Australian Climate Change Science Program, a joint initiative of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO.

The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology State of the Climate 2012 reports that:

Australian annual average daily mean temperatures have increased by 0.9 °C since 1910.

Global average mean sea level for 2011 was 210 mm above the level in 1880.

Sea surface temperatures have increased by about 0.8 °C since 1910.

The main cause of the observed increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is the combustion of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution.

Australian average temperatures are projected to rise by 1.0 to 5.0 °C by 2070 when compared with the climate of recent decades.

Australia’s Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station shows current greenhouse gas concentrations in the Southern Hemisphere.