Climate projections: what’s happening to rainfall in Western Australia?

January 14, 2022

With the release of the latest IPCC report, the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) new hydrological projections and investment under the Western Australian Climate Science Initiative, our understanding of Western Australia’s future climate is constantly improving.  

In this webinar, jointly hosted by the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) and the Western Australian Climate Science Initiative, we will provide an overview of what the latest global and national projections mean for WA, with a focus on rainfall.

Climate projections help us understand our changing climate and allow us to plan for the future. Climate models are constantly being updated to simulate the real world and include more components of the Earth system, such as cloud cover, sea ice, and convection. This helps us understand our current climate variability and what the future climate could look like.

Dr. Michael Grose (CSIRO) will summarise key insights for WA using the latest generation of global climate projections used to inform the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report. These projections provide an important new resource for Australian climate research and services, and will be used to produce tailored high-resolution projections for Western Australia as part of the Climate Science Initiative delivered by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).   

Dr Ulrike Bende-Michl (BoM) will provide an overview of recently produced BoM national hydrological projections. The local scale projections are currently being applied to water resource management case studies and guidance is being developed on the use of these projections in the Western Australian water sector in collaboration with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).   

Dr. Pandora Hope (BoM) will share findings from her NESP attribution research on why WA’s south-west is drying out at one of the fastest rates in the world, why the bulk of models agree this drying trend will continue, and how we know it’s being caused by greenhouse gases.  

The webinar will be chaired by Kelly Barnes (Program Manager, Western Australian Climate Science Initiative, DWER) and highlight how researchers from across the country are collaborating to equip Australians with the latest climate science and knowledge to respond to our changing climate.             

About the presenters  

Dr Michael Grose is a research scientist at CSIRO, working on regional climate change processes, attribution and projections. He has a strong interest in climate research and communication on topics with impact, acting as lead author on the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and the biannual Australian State of the Climate reports. 

Dr Ulrike Bende-Michl is a research scientist at the Hydrology Science group at BoM. She has a strong interest in understanding and assessing impacts on Australian water resources within historical and future perspectives. Ulrike leads BoM’s National Hydrological Projections, providing consistent information nationally on future states of rainfall, soil moisture, runoff and evapotranspiration. 

 Dr Pandora Hope is a research scientist at BoM, where she focuses on attributing extreme climate events to climate change and other drivers. She has a passion for the Western Australian climate. She was a lead author for the Sixth Assessment of the IPCC Working Group I, a researcher and co-manager of the Indian Ocean Climate Initiative from 2002 to 2012, lead author on the Climate Change in Australia projections for south-west Western Australia and southern South Australia, climate advisor for the BoM National Hydrological Projections and now the BoM lead in the NESP Climate Systems Hub.  


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