Climate variability and change in Australia

Thumbnail map of Australia showing eight NRM clusterssource: Bureau of Meteorology

CSIRO and the Bureau recently released a comprehensive update of climate observations and predictions for Australia to help inform decision-making in the natural resource management sector. 

Prepared to inform impact assessment and planning, Climate change in Australia, draws from observations and simulations based on up to 40 global climate models and four scenarios of greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions during the 21st century. 

The 2015 projections provide greater levels of detail and confidence compared to the previous projections, which were last updated in 2007. Information is categorised by eight natural resource management (NRM) clusters, making it easier to find out about likely conditions in regional areas of interest. The clusters were determined by considering factors such as past climatic conditions, biophysical factors and expected broad patterns of climate change and align closely to regional NRM organisations.

Map of Australia showing NRM clusters. Follow link to website for more information.
Eight NRM clusters used for the climate change projections.

CSIRO and Bureau researchers have confirmed that Australia’s climate has already changed and most of the changes observed over recent decades will continue into the future. Observations show that Australian average surface air temperature has increased by 0.9 °C since 1910, and many heat-related records have been broken in recent years.

We have very high confidence that average temperatures will continue to increase in all seasons across Australia. Extreme rainfall events that lead to flooding are likely to become more intense, and we will experience more heat extremes and fewer cold extremes.

The new climate change projections for Australia are funded by the Department of the Environment through the NRM Planning for Climate Change Fund, with co-funding from CSIRO and the Bureau.

View the suite of brochures and reports, as well as summary statements about regional projections at

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