25 June 2021
Australia has a variable climate which is affected by large-scale variations in the global climate system, including El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southern Annular Mode. These drivers impact our climate by affecting rainfall patterns, drought, bushfire weather and floods. The ESCC Hub has conducted research to better understand the drivers of Australia’s large-scale variability, their impacts on Australia’s climate and how these impacts may change in the future.
Australia’s national climate model, the Australian Community Climate and Earth Systems Simulator (ACCESS), is a useful tool for better understanding the climate drivers important to the Australian region, and how they may change in the future. ACCESS provides us with a modelling capability which can focus on the Australian and Southern Hemisphere region. The Hub has been instrumental in the development and improvement of ACCESS and in contributing, through ACCESS, to global climate science initiatives. This includes the submission of ACCESS simulations to the international Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) Phase 6. CMIP consists of climate model simulations from around the world which are publicly available for use by researchers and as key inputs into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports.
The increased understanding of how climate drivers vary and interact, as well as more accurate simulations of these drivers in climate models, has provided reliable and relevant information for input into climate projections and planning and management activities. For example, research through the Hub to develop and apply methods to better distinguish the influence and contribution of climate change on extreme weather events provides important information to governments, industries and businesses to help them better understand and manage their climate risks.
Read about the Hub’s research through the following synthesis products:
This report discusses the key findings of Hub research into how our variable climate is likely to change under increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. This includes investigations into how the frequency of extreme El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole events may change in the future, and the impact this change will have on Australia’s climate system.
This report outlines what ACESS is, improvements made to ACCESS under the Hub, the benefits of a national climate modelling capability and application examples of ACCESS to help better understand our changing climate.
This factsheet outlines research by the ESCC Hub into the causes of dry periods across southern Australia to determine how unusual these extreme dry periods are and how likely we are to see more of them under a warmer future.
The research which underpins these products was supported under ESCC Hub projects 5.1: ACCESS evaluation and application and 5.2: Understanding climate variability and change – past, present and future.