Climate Change: Science and Solutions for Australia
Chapter 3: Future Australian climate scenarios
By Dr Penny Whetton
Important advances in climate science in recent years, both at the global and the Australian scales, enable us to use computer simulations to explore with increasing confidence the consequences for our climate of various levels of emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.
The best estimate of annual average warming by 2030 (above 1990 temperatures) is around 1.0 ºC across Australia, with warming of 0.7–0.9 ºC in coastal areas and 1–1.2 ºC inland.
Drying is likely in southern areas of Australia, especially in winter, and in southern and eastern areas in spring, due to a contraction in the rainfall belt towards the higher latitudes of the southern hemisphere. Changes in summer tropical rainfall in northern Australia remain highly uncertain.
Intense rainfall events in most locations will become more extreme, driven by a warmer, wetter atmosphere. The combination of drying and increased evaporation means soil moisture is likely to decline over much of southern Australia. An increase in fire-weather risk is likely with warmer and drier conditions.
Discover more about Future Australian climate scenarios:
Or download the whole book (two options):
- Portable Document Format [PDF 14.2 MB] [optimised for computer screen]
- EPUB version from CSIRO PUBLISHING [optimised for use with mobile and eReading devices].