Climate Change in Australia

Climate information, projections, tools and data

ESCI User Guidance

The ESCI Climate Risk Assessment Framework

Australia's climate is changing; the continent has warmed by 1.4 oC since 1910 and the number of extremely high temperature days has increased. Since 1970, there has been 16% less rainfall in April to October in the south-west, 12% less rainfall in April to October in the south-east since the late 1990s, and less streamflow in southern Australia. There has been an increase in extreme fire weather in Australia since 1950, and fewer tropical cyclones since 1982.1

These trends are likely to continue in future and over the next 20 to 80 years will affect the safety, reliability, resilience and financial performance of all electricity assets, and the performance of the national electricity market as an integrated system. 

The ESCI project provides a framework for integrating climate change risk into sector decision-making. The User Guidance goes through the framework (Figure 1) step by step and recommends the selection and appropriate use of climate information. With the toolkit provided here, the ESCI project enables the electricity sector to integrate the assessment of physical risk from climate change more confidently and consistently in long-term planning.

Figure 1 ESCI Climate Risk Assessment Framework.


Climate projections are derived from climate models that have limitations. Uncertainties at regional and local scales over the next decade are strongly influenced by natural variability, which is hard to predict. Global climate models (GCMs) have coarse resolution and can provide useful climate projections over the next two decades and beyond at global and continental scales. However, GCMs cannot adequately represent weather-scale (1–10 km) phenomena, so downscaling methods have been used. The numerical precision of these data must not be confused with accuracy; the downscaled projections are plausible, rather than precise. Where possible, uncertainties have been estimated and confidence ratings have been provided. 

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To the maximum extent permitted by law, none of BoM, CSIRO, AEMO and DISER (and their employees, officers, representatives and consultants) is or will be liable for or in relation to any loss, damage, cost, expense, compensation, penalty, claim, complaint, action, decision or forbearance that is based on, caused by, or arises in connection with, the use of, or reliance upon, this Framework (in part or in whole) or any data, information, element or material (regardless of form) that it comprises. You should consider obtaining expert advice (professional, scientific, technical or otherwise) before relying on or using in any way the information or material available on this site.

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The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (the Department) encourages the use, dissemination and exchange of information provided through the Electricity Climate Information Project portal on an open and reusable basis.

The Commonwealth of Australia owns the copyright in all material produced by the Department.

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The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website , as is the full legal code for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.


1 BoM and CSIRO (2020) State of the Climate