Climate change in Australia
 
Observed changes

Temperature

Australian average temperatures have increased 0.9C since 1950, with significant regional variations. The frequency of hot days and nights has increased and the frequency of cold days and nights has declined.

Rainfall

Since 1950, most of eastern and south-western Australia has experienced substantial rainfall declines. Across New South Wales and Queensland these rainfall trends partly reflect a very wet period around the 1950s, though recent years have been unusually dry. In contrast, north-west Australia has become wetter over this period, mostly during summer.

From 1950 to 2005, extreme daily rainfall intensity and frequency has increased in north-western and central Australia and over the western tablelands of New South Wales, but decreased in the south-east and south-west and along the central east coast.

Oceans

Global sea levels rose by about 17 cm during the 20th century, and by around 10 cm from 1920-2000 at the Australian coastal sites monitored. Substantial warming has also occurred in the three oceans surrounding Australia, particularly off the south-east coast and in the Indian Ocean.

 
More information

Hot topics in climate change: Understanding current climate change over the long term [external link]
www.climatechange.gov.au/climate-change/myths/~/media/publications/science/fs-palaeoclimatic.ashx

Australian climate change and variability [external link]
www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/aus_cvac.shtml

 
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
CSIRO
Bureau of Meteorology
Climate Change in Australia was developed by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology in partnership with the
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency through the Australian Climate Change Science Program
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