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State of the climate 2022 7.34 MB
Description

This seventh biennial State of the climate report draws on the latest national and international climate research, encompassing observations, analyses and future projections to describe year-to-year variability and longer-term changes in Australia’s climate. The report is a synthesis of the science informing our understanding of Australia’s climate. It includes new information since the last report in 2020, such as that published in the 2021 Sixth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report is intended to inform a range of economic, environmental and social decision-making by governments, industries and communities.

Observations, reconstructions of past climate and climate modelling continue to provide a consistent picture of ongoing, long‑term climate change interacting with underlying natural variability.

Associated changes in weather and climate extremes—such as extreme heat, heavy rainfall and coastal inundation, fire weather and drought—have a large impact on the health and wellbeing of our communities and ecosystems. These changes are happening at an increased pace—the past decade has seen record-breaking extremes leading to natural disasters that are exacerbated by anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change. These changes have a growing impact on the lives and livelihoods of all Australians.

Australia needs to plan for, and adapt to, the changing nature of climate risk now and in the decades ahead. The severity of impacts on Australians and our environment will depend on the speed at which global greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced.

Key points:

  • Australia’s climate has warmed by an average of 1.47 ± 0.24 °C since national records began in 1910.
  • Sea surface temperatures have increased by an average of 1.05 °C since 1900. This has led to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events over land and sea.
  • Rainfall and streamflow have increased across parts of northern Australia since the 1970s.
  • Snow depth, snow cover and number of snow days have decreased in alpine regions since the late 1950s.
  • Sea levels are rising around Australia, including more frequent extremes that are increasing the risk of inundation and damage to coastal infrastructure and communities.
Publication Details
ISBN:
978-1-4863-1770-7
Access Rights Type:
open