Regional climate projections for Australia: a key input into national adaptation planning
Over the past twenty-five years, CSIRO has led the provision of national climate change projections for Australia designed to serve the needs of adaptation planning. These projections have been widely cited and used in Australian adaptation work. Indeed, assessment of how climate is likely to change in particular regions is a critical step if appropriate adaptations are to be developed and implemented.
Early in 2015, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released new national projections for Australia based on extensive analysis of the latest climate modelling results, thus providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date projections currently available for Australia. The projections were aimed specifically at supporting the needs of natural resource management planning, as the work was part of a larger government initiative in this sector. However they were also designed to serve wider national needs in line with earlier projection products.
With every confidence continued warming is projected throughout the century for all regions of Australia. The projected warming averaged across Australia is 0.6-1.3°C by 2030, and by 2090, 2.8-5.1°C is projected under global high emissions and 1.4 to 2.7°C under a more moderate emission scenario. Other aspects of Australian climate will also change. In addition to temperature, the projections cover a range of other variables, such as changes to precipitation, sea level rise, humidity, radiation and fire weather, including many aspects of extremes, such as hot/cold days, drought, fire-weather, tropical cyclones, strong wind, extreme rainfall and extreme sea level.
The seminar will describe the scientific basis for the projections and summarise key aspects of the projected future climate. The form of the information ranges from key summary messages, maps and tables, through to detailed projection data sets suited for technical applications. The full set of projection information and guidance material is available from the associated website (http://www.
Dr Whetton is an Honorary Research Fellow with CSIRO's Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, and formerly a Senior Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO. Dr Whetton led CSIRO's national climate change projection work from 1992 until 2014 and was a Lead Author of Assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001, 2007 and 2014.