How is Australia and Queensland’s climate likely to change?

Key Messages about future change include:

  • Average temperatures will continue to increase in all seasons (very high confidence).
  • More hot days and warm spells are projected with very high confidence.
  • Changes to rainfall are possible but unclear
  • Increased intensity of extreme rainfall events is projected, with high confidence.
  • Mean sea level will continue to rise and height of extreme sea-level events will also increase (very high confidence).
  • With medium confidence, fewer but more intense tropical cyclones are projected.
  • On an annual and decadal basis, natural variability in the climate system can act to either mask or enhance any long-term human induced trend, particularly in the next 20 years and for rainfall.

CSIRO and BOM have launched a new website, Climate Change in Australia  where people can learn about likely future impacts and projections in Australia, Queensland and regional centres. Future climatic change will be dependent on the actions global society takes in reducing emissions. For example; RCP (Representative Concentration Pathway) 4.5 assumes action is being taken within the decade and emissions have stabilised in the atmosphere by 2040. RCP 8.5 is the Business as Usual case where no efforts are being made to reduce emissions.

To explore some likely changes go to the climate projections on the website.

The chart below has been generated from information on this website and shows how the number of days greater than 35o C are likely to increase by 2030, 2050, and 2070 compared to the historical (1990) climate.

Climate-Chart2