State of the Climate 2018
22 February 2019
The State of the Climate report draws on the latest monitoring, science and projection information to describe variability and changes in Australia’s climate. Observations and climate modelling paint a consistent picture of ongoing, long term climate change interacting with underlying natural variability.
These changes affect many Australians, particularly the changes associated with increases in the frequency or intensity of heat events, fire weather and drought. Australia will need to plan for and adapt to some level of climate change.
This report is a synthesis of the science informing our understanding of climate in Australia and includes new information about Australia’s climate of the past, present and future. The science underpinning this report will help inform a range of economic, environmental and social decision-making and local vulnerability assessments, by government, industry and communities.
- Australia's climate has warmed just over 1 °C since 1910 leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events.
- Oceans around Australia have warmed by around 1 °C since 1910, contributing to longer and more frequent marine heatwaves.
- Sea levels are rising around Australia, increasing the risk of inundation.
- The oceans around Australia are acidifying (the pH is decreasing).
- April to October rainfall has decreased in the southwest of Australia. Across the same region May–July rainfall has seen the largest decrease, by around 20 per cent since 1970.
- There has been a decline of around 11 per cent in April–October rainfall in the southeast of Australia since the late 1990s.
- Rainfall has increased across parts of northern Australia since the 1970s.
- Streamflow has decreased across southern Australia. Streamflow has increased in northern Australia where rainfall has increased.
- There has been a long-term increase in extreme fire weather, and in the length of the fire season, across large parts of Australia.
To read the full report visit the BOM website.