Australia's future climate

Australia’s climate in the decades ahead will be different from what it was in the past.

The following climate projections are sourced from the fourth, biennial Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO State of the Climate report.

  • Australia's climate has warmed in both mean surface air temperature and surrounding sea surface temperature by around 1 °C since 1910.
  • The duration, frequency and intensity of extreme heat events have increased across large parts of Australia.
  • There has been an increase in extreme fire weather, and a longer fire season, across large parts of Australia since the 1970s.
  • May–July rainfall has reduced by around 19 per cent since 1970 in the southwest of Australia.
  • There has been a decline of around 11 per cent since the mid-1990s in the April–October growing season rainfall in the continental southeast.
  • Rainfall has increased across parts of northern Australia since the 1970s.
  • Oceans around Australia have warmed and ocean acidity levels have increased.

Annual mean temperature changes across Australia since 1910

In the future

  • Australian temperatures are projected to continue increasing with more extremely hot days and fewer extremely cool days.
  • The number of days with weather conducive to fire in southern and eastern Australia is projected to increase.
  • Winter and spring rainfall is projected to decrease across southern continental Australia, with more time spent in drought.
  • Extreme rainfall events are likely to increase in intensity by the end of the century across most of Australia.
  • Projections suggest fewer tropical cyclones will form in the southern hemisphere than are currently observed, but a higher proportion of those will be more intense, with ongoing large variability from decade to decade.

 

 

Updated climate change projections for Australia's NRM regions (reports) with specifics - CSIRO

Cluster Reports for 8 regions of Australia have been designed by CSIRO to assist regional decision makers in understanding the important messages deduced from climate change projection modelling. The reports present a range of emissions scenarios across multiple variables and years. 

A set of brochures has also been released, summarising key climate change projections for each of the 8 clusters.

The brochures include:  

 

Watch: The Bureau's State of the Climate 'behind the science' videos: 

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