Today CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology released the most comprehensive climate change projections ever completed for Australia.

The report predicts that Australia will feel the effects of climate change more than the rest of the world due to our unique geography.

Using simulations based on up to 40 global climate models and 4 scenarios of greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions, researchers presented with “very high confidence” climate change predictions that we can expect to experience throughout the 21st century.

CSIRO principle research scientist, Kevin Hennessy said, “ hot days will become more frequent and hotter.”

“We also have very high confidence that sea levels will rise, oceans will become more acidic, and snow depths will decline.”

Here are some key findings from the study:

  • By 2090, the average temperature is projected to increase by 0.6 to 1.7 °C for a low emission scenario, or 2.8 to 5.1 °C under a high emission scenario.
  • Extreme rain events are expected to become more intense.
  • Time in drought will increase over southern Australia, with a greater frequency of severe droughts.
  • A projected increase in evaporation rates will contribute to a reduction in soil moisture across the country.
  • Tropical cyclones may occur less often; however they will likely be more intense.
  • Southern and Eastern Australia is expected to experience harsher fire weather.
  • The Australian coastline is projected to experience a sea level rise comparable to, or slightly higher than, the average global sea level rise of up to 82 cm (under a high emission scenario).
  • The collapse of Antarctic ice sheet could make sea level rise projections much higher by 2090.

The study has confirmed that most of the climate changes observed over recent decades will continue into the future.

Now is the time to start thinking about how we can work towards a more sustainable future.