Understanding climate variability

Australia’s climate is variable. It is driven by many climate processes, such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation and Indian Ocean Dipole, which drive large-scale rainfall and temperature changes in Australia. Many of these key climate processes are changing in response to rising greenhouse gas emissions. These changes are projected to continue as global emissions increase.

Previous research on Australia’s variable climate has primarily focused on each climate process in isolation. However, the interaction of multiple climate processes can result in particularly damaging weather conditions and extreme weather.

We’re working with stakeholders such as federal, state and territory governments and the Australian Climate Services initiative to scope gaps and priorities in climate variability and change research in Australia. This will help to determine what information is required to inform the development of risk assessment tools and adaptation and management plans. We’re conducting a review of how climate variability research findings should be presented and communicated to ensure the maximum impact of our research. Based on this co-designed process, we’ll investigate identified climate processes and their interactions using observations and climate model output.

We’re also working together with researchers from across our partner organisations to better understand the latest generation of global climate models (CMIP6), including Australia’s national global climate model ACCESS, and the ability of these climate models to simulate current and future climate processes.

This project will provide a range of products on Australia’s variable and changing climate and the interaction of key Australian climate processes. It will also develop tools to improve modelling and projections of key Australian climate variables, such as temperature and rainfall.

For more information:

Want to know more? Please contact the project leads:
Christine Chung, Bureau of Meteorology and Shayne McGregor, Monash University


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