Climate Futures bridges the gap between fundamental climate science and the local adaptation needs of Australian industries, government agencies and communities.
The science of climate change is unequivocal. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that the earth is warming and that increased concentrations of greenhouse gases caused by human activity are contributing to our changing climate. Change is a feature of the 21st century global climate. The need to understand the consequences and impacts of climate change on Australia and to enable planning for adaptation and mitigation of climate change at a regional level is widely recognised across industry and government.
Increased temperatures are only one aspect of climate change. Global warming also causes changes to rainfall, wind, evaporation, cloudiness and other climate variables. These changes will not only become apparent in changes to average climate conditions, but also in the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as heatwaves, flooding rains or severe frosts.
While climate change is a global phenomenon, its specific impacts at any location are felt as a change to local weather conditions. This means we need regional studies to understand the effects of climate change on specific areas. Climate Futures provides this localised climate information, producing fine‑scale climate change projections that allow local analysis of climate impacts, changes to seasonality and extreme events.
We work in close consultation with industry and government agencies around Australia to develop targeted, fine-scale climate model projections to support operational decision making. Our clients include emergency services, hydroelectric companies, agricultural producers, alpine resort operators, forestry managers, wine makers and aquaculture producers. Our work draws on the collective expertise of world-leading climate scientists from across multiple agencies, including advisors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Climate change will be a determining factor in the life of Australians for many years to come, influencing our prosperity to the tune of billions of dollars annually. The work of Climate Futures is helping to ensure that Australia is well prepared for the future.
The Climate Futures research programme is a project of the School of Geography and Spatial Sciences at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia.