PROJECT 2.2: Enhancing Australia’s capacity to manage climate variability and climate extremes in a changing climate
Climate extremes such as heatwaves, floods and droughts have huge impacts on Australia’s communities and their natural and economic resources. These events are influenced by large-scale climate features, such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, and by changes in the climate due to human activities. Explaining the drivers of past extremes, variability and trends is crucial in providing confident projections of future climate changes and frequency of extreme events.
We’re analysing past climate variability and extremes to enhance our understanding of the underpinning climate drivers. Our focus is on climate variability driven from the oceans (including El Niño, La Niña and the Indian Ocean Dipole), and longer timescale extremes such as extended heatwaves, floods and droughts. We’ll use climate models to examine how these factors change as the global climate changes.
This analysis will provide greater clarity on what causes extreme events, identify trends and variation in large-scale climate features and extreme events and to what extent these events are caused by human activities. This information will be integrated into Australia’s climate change projections, enabling us to better plan for and respond to drought, heatwaves and floods.
For more information
Dr Pandora Hope, Bureau of Meteorology
This project is contributing to meeting the following climate challenges:
Modelling improvements developed in this project will enhance the quality of climate projections that are available to water managers and planners.
Agricultural and environmental managers will be able to use projections developed from work in this project to make more effective management decisions.
Research undertaken in this project will allow for better simulation of extreme events in climate projections, making them a more useful tool for governments and other agencies that are responsible for preparing for and managing the response to natural disasters.
Publications and papers
- Chung C, Power SB. 2017. The non-linear impact of El Niño, La Niña and the Southern Oscillation on seasonal and regional Australian precipitation. Journal of Southern Hemisphere Earth Systems Science, 67(1), 25–45, doi:10.22499/3.6701.003
- Chung C, Power S, Santoso A, Wang G. 2017. Multi-year variability in the Tasman sea and impacts on Southern Hemisphere climate in CMIP5 models. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/jcli-d-16-0862.1
- Hope P, Wang G, Lim E-P, Hendon HH, Arblaster JM. 2016. What caused the record-breaking heat across Australia in October 2015? Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97(12), S122–S126, doi:10.1175/bams-d-16-0141.1
- Kajtar JB, Santoso A, McGregor S, England MH. 2017. Model under-representation of decadal Pacific trade wind trends and its link to tropical Atlantic bias. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-017-3699-5
- Karoly D, Black M, Grose M, King A. 2016. The roles of climate change and El Niño in the record low rainfall in October 2015 in Tasmania, Australia. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97(12), S127–S130, doi:10.1175/bams-d-16-0139.1
- Power SB, Delage FPD, Chung CTY, Ye H and Murphy BF. 2017. Humans have already increased the risk of major disruptions to Pacific rainfall. Nature Communications, 8, 14368, doi:10.1038/ncomms14368
- Wang G, Cai W, Gan B, Wu L, Santoso A, Lin X, Chen Z, McPhaden MJ. 2017. Continued increase of extreme El Niño frequency long after 1.5°C warming stabilisation. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate3351
- Wang G, Hope P, Lim E-P, Hendon HH, Arblaster JM. 2016. Three methods for the attribution of extreme weather and climate events. Bureau Research Report No. 018. Available at http://www.bom.gov.au/research/publications/researchreports/BRR-018.pdf